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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are some people subconsciously threatened by logic?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) September 21st, 2016

It seems as much as some try to apply or tout logic, to do something based completely off logic scares them as it would attack their humanness, leave them looking heartless and uncompassionate. If one is more concerned with what is thought of them, or how they will be perceived, why not just go by emotion and what you feel in spite of what can be figured out and applied? Is one subconsciously threatened that if they do something perfectly by logic, it might leave them appearing heartless, or debased?

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27 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

You can’t use logic to fight logic. You need emotions and instinct to fight logic. Some people don’t want to be dominated by expert authority or any authority.

Zaku's avatar

I think the usual sensed threat is actually the different frame of reference someone is coming from, not the logic per se.

kritiper's avatar

I’ve never heard it called that, but, yes, I think some are. Like people who are afraid of success.

zenvelo's avatar

This sentence makes no logical sense: …If one is more concerned with what is thought of them, or how they will be perceived, why not just go by emotion and what you feel in spite of what can be figured out and applied?

People who have an ego so fragile that they are reliant on their reputation to guide their actions don’t use logic.

Use of logic by two people will not always lead to the same conclusion. The world is not a problem to be solved with a singular answer.

Mariah's avatar

For context, this post was inspired by my visceral reaction to HC’s attempt to use “logic” to argue that pedophilia is okay.

For context.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The basic problem here is that you don’t understand what logic is. You seem to believe that to be logical is to be a Straw Vulcan, but that conception of a logical person is incorrect. Logic and emotion are not opposed to one another. Logic is a way of reasoning from premises to conclusions And sometimes, facts about our or others’ emotions are important data in fixing our premises.

Perhaps an example would be helpful. Let’s say I offer you the contents of Box A or Box B. Presumably, you’ll want to know what’s in them before choosing. That’s because the logical choice is to pick the one containing whatever you want more. But wanting is a feeling. It is the input your reasoning needs to figure out what sort of output is most appropriate (that is, choosing Box A or Box B).

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Zaku I think the usual sensed threat is actually the different frame of reference someone is coming from, not the logic per se.
If one’s logic is merely filtered through what they experienced or what they accept, where is true logic?

@Mariah For context, this post was inspired by my dislike of HC’s attempt to use “logic” to argue that pedophilia is okay.
You are going to march in here with a BOLD FACED LIE? I have never said it was OK, you are trying to vilify one sexual immorality by lauding another, I said which I know to my heart is legal and correct, but you looked beyond that to what YOU yourself want to believe is right or wrong, if anything I presented evidence of your hypocrisy. Your fear of truth might be a part of it, but it is hardly about you, so get over yourself, there are others here who seem scared of logic as well as those outside the Fluther world.

@zenvelo People who have an ego so fragile that they are reliant on their reputation to guide their actions don’t use logic.
That doesn’t stop them from trying. In the back of everyone’s mind is how others will think of them. For the most part they don’t have to put their logic on the line against their reputation so it never manifests itself truly. For instance in a dire situation say a small plane goes down on a sightseeing trip in the jungle, many miles off course, some threat in the area requiring a quick departure of the area, if you have to move quickly and quietly to get to safety logic would say leave the baby and the guy with the broken leg, as they can’t navigate the very tough terrain quick enough or be silent enough to leave the group harder to detect if at all. Who would suggest that to the survivors, hardly anyone even if they perceived that was the most logical thing to do to have as many people possible get to safety. Why? No one wants to seem heartless ditching the injured or a baby, because in normal circumstances everyone would be bending over backwards for the safely and comfort of the baby or tending to the wounded.

@SavoirFaire The basic problem here is that you don’t understand what logic is.
Don’t most people use logic to decipher the best course of action to get the best outcome? If that is the aim, then why not use it to that aim regardless of emotion. As in your example, say there were two houses, close to the same size, one in better shape the other rough around the edges. If the rougher house had a way better deal, and would be paid off quicker at less per month it would be logical to choose that one. Would it be logical to choose the other with a higher cost, more per month and a crappier interest rate simply because a favorite grandmother had a house like it and to get it would lend to some connection with the departed grandmother? Or would it be logical not to choose the other because you grew up in a home in that style terrorized by an alcoholic father?

Cruiser's avatar

I agree with your premise. Applying logic, requires a modest grasp of the original thought making process. Something that is more and more lacking from each new generation thanks in large part to the internet and Google that too many rely on to make their decisions for them. Sad prognosis for the future of our society.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “Don’t most people use logic to decipher the best course of action to get the best outcome? If that is the aim, then why not use it to that aim regardless of emotion.”

Yes, that is one way of using logic. But it is also the use of logic where it is the most clear that one cannot “use it to that aim regardless of emotion.” Emotions are important elements of what makes something the best outcome. They cannot be ignored, therefore, when reasoning about which courses of action are best.

“As in your example, say there were two houses, close to the same size, one in better shape the other rough around the edges. If the rougher house had a way better deal, and would be paid off quicker at less per month it would be logical to choose that one.”

Not necessarily. The advantages of paying off the house quicker must be balanced against other factors. Is the house so rough around the edges that it is likely to fall apart soon after (or even before) you pay it off? Are you capable of doing any necessary repairs yourself, or will you have to pay someone else to do them? If you have to pay someone else, will the cost be more than the difference between the cost of the two houses? Are you hoping to just live in the house, or is it an investment (which might make the more expensive house a better candidate)? These are all factors you have ignored.

“Would it be logical to choose the other with a higher cost, more per month and a crappier interest rate simply because a favorite grandmother had a house like it and to get it would lend to some connection with the departed grandmother?”

It depends on how valuable that feeling is to you. If we don’t make your false assumption that to be logical is to be a Straw Vulcan, then we can see that it makes perfect sense to take account of happiness (both ours and that of others) when making decisions. I don’t buy the cheapest brand of pasta sauce when I go to the grocery store. Why? Because I don’t like it and won’t eat it. Surely it would be more illogical to pay less money for a brand of pasta sauce that I don’t like and won’t eat than to pay more money for a brand of pasta sauce that I do like and will eat. Otherwise, why buy the sauce at all? Buying the cheap sauce that I won’t eat is just plain wasteful. But that preference for one sauce over the other is an emotion.

This isn’t to say that the story ends there, of course. I might abstain from buying an expensive sauce because it stretches my budget too far or because I don’t like it so much more than I like one of the cheaper sauces as to make the more expensive one worth it. But this still appeals to preferences, such as my preference not to go bankrupt or to pay more for something than it is worth. Some people have so much money, however, that they don’t even need to worry about such things. They can afford to just buy whatever is their favorite all the time (though, presumably, they will balance their food purchases against other preferences—like their preference for being healthy, which may lead them to rein in their indulgences).

“Or would it be logical not to choose the other because you grew up in a home in that style terrorized by an alcoholic father?”

Again, it depends on how much avoiding those memories is worth to you. Psychological abuse can have many long-term effects. If living in a house that constantly reminded one of a terrible childhood was likely to lead one to suicide, I think it would be perfectly logical to buy a more expensive house that didn’t remind you of your childhood. So again, there are more factors here than you let on.

imrainmaker's avatar

Not sure what is relationship between using logic / not and being heartless / uncompassionate.

Zaku's avatar

“If one’s logic is merely filtered through what they experienced or what they accept, where is true logic?”
True logic requires agreement on the frame of reference and the premises. I expect that almost everyone whom you are thinking may feel “threatened by logic” are not threatened by the logic someone else is applying, but by the different system of ideas, values and premises that the other person has, and the difficulty in distinguishing what those differences are.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@SavoirFaire Is the house so rough around the edges that it is likely to fall apart soon after (or even before) you pay it off?
That would be more than rough around the edges that would be a dg with fleas. I tried to portray it as similar but maybe cosmetics were the largest separator.

It depends on how valuable that feeling is to you.
When it comes to plain outcome feelings are a detriment. That would make one reason, if they wanted, that going out getting high every day is a feeling worth or needed to be done to combat the depression they feel about being stuck in poverty when the drugs is likely to be the largest factor holding them in poverty.

I don’t buy the cheapest brand of pasta sauce when I go to the grocery store. Why? Because I don’t like it and won’t eat it. Surely it would bemore illogical to pay less money for a brand of pasta sauce that I don’t like and won’t eat than to pay more money for a brand of pasta sauce that I do like and will eat.
Yeah, that would be dumb to buy what will not be used even at dirt cheap prices, however if it were cheaper but still something you would eat but not enjoy as much as the more or most expensive, depending on how your paper was, it would make better sense to get because the saving could go for other more important things like electricity bill, gas, etc. If one budget is tight but they insist on the more expensive one which could jeopardize them getting to work, it would not be smart reasoning.

If living in a house that constantly reminded one of a terrible childhood was likely to lead one to suicide, I think it would be perfectly logical to buy a more expensive house that didn’t remind you of your childhood.
That might be with some, but to choose a more expensive house if getting in it leaves you on a bubble with no cushion that if you lost income, the house would fall quick, then you would be homeless, or at least in terrible financial shape, which would be worse than letting the house vex you with memories you can’t change; many other factors can still bring memories back anyhow. What if they chose the more expensive house they loved, but it was quite apparent it was draining on the pocket and the smart thing was to jettison before it got foreclosed on but did not want to do it because they loved the house and it was the type grams had and it brought back so much fond memories, emotion would be sabotaging them for financial doom.

@imrainmaker Not sure what is relationship between using logic / not and being heartless / uncompassionate.
Sometimes it might be wiser to save the many than to try and save all. Say some people are on holiday, the resort is attacked by whomever, and they sequester the guest that did not get shot and killed in the takeover on the 3rd floor conference room of the hotel. In there is a couple in their 80s, frail and thin, a good wind will blow them over. Also there is a pregnant woman with a toddler. One of the captives work at the hotel, he says he knows of a way to escape but it takes a lot of climbing, scurry along a ledge and ford a conduit pipe. The guards let their defenses down and the captives have the chance to escape but a very, very short window of time. The pregnant woman surely would not be able to do it quick enough and certainly not with the toddler, and the 80s couple would never be able do it. Should they try to be helped it would take too much time and no one would escape. However if anyone escaped those left had a near 100% chance of being shot. What does one do, nothing, and hope for the best? If one man said he wanted to try, better to save some and leave the old people and the pregnant woman behind, the smarter choice given the obstacles, some in the room would see him as heartless seeking to save himself, or everyone can try to take the woman and the old people along assuring a near chance of failure in the escape attempt. The greatest chance to get some people out for sure is to ditch the woman and the old people, but anyone suggesting that would be heartless and cruel for choosing the best option.

Setanta's avatar

Logic sometimes is perceived as threatening people’s deeply held beliefs.

Logic is overrated. When people speak of logic, it’s usually actually a rationalization for believing what they want to believe.

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ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If it can be computed with a k-map it’s logic, otherwise it’s reason which is not always reasonable.

tinyfaery's avatar

Bwhahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Pot meet kettle.

ForHatesSake's avatar

Fact from fiction.

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LostInParadise's avatar

Does anybody else find it ironic that someone who regularly ignores logical arguments against his positions (e.g., his above replies) is of the opinion that it is others who are defying logic? It has gotten to the point that I won’t argue against him anymore. It is a waste of time.

ucme's avatar

Irony figures largely yes

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

It is ironic people would reason through their likes and agreements and if they do not agree or like it, no matter what reasoning, logic used or not, will get them to accept any other position.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central “I tried to portray it as similar but maybe cosmetics were the largest separator.”

Okay, fine. There are still the other factors I mentioned (e.g., whether you are capable of doing the necessary repairs yourself or will have to pay someone else to them, whether the cost of the repairs is likely to be greater than the cost difference between the two houses, and what you want the house for). And of course, someone who has absurd amounts of money won’t even have to wait to pay it off, and the price difference probably won’t make any practical difference to them.

“When it comes to plain outcome feelings are a detriment.”

Feelings are part of the outcome. Ignoring them is foolish. Furthermore, feelings are an important factor in how we assess particular outcomes. When you prefer one outcome to another, that preference is a feeling.

“That would make one reason, if they wanted, that going out getting high every day is a feeling worth or needed to be done to combat the depression they feel about being stuck in poverty when the drugs is likely to be the largest factor holding them in poverty.”

This is a non sequitur. Just because feelings are an important part of how we assess outcomes doesn’t mean that they are the only factor or that facts are irrelevant. If the primary sentiment here is the desire to avoid depression and poverty, then the fact that getting high every day is preventing them from fulfilling that desire is highly relevant.

“If one budget is tight but they insist on the more expensive one which could jeopardize them getting to work, it would not be smart reasoning.”

But now you are adding conditions. Obviously, one has to prioritize when one’s budget is tight. But once again, your priorities are going to be largely determined by the ordering of your desires—and desires are feelings.

“That might be with some, but to choose a more expensive house if getting in it leaves you on a bubble with no cushion that if you lost income, the house would fall quick, then you would be homeless, or at least in terrible financial shape, which would be worse than letting the house vex you with memories you can’t change”

But all this proves is that the answer changes if you change the circumstances. Nothing I’ve said suggests otherwise. The fact that some emotions can drag us in deleterious directions doesn’t entail that we should—or can—remove emotion entirely from the reasoning process. At best, it shows that we have to be careful about which emotions we take most heed of.

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