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sap82's avatar

What is wrong with logic and reason?

Asked by sap82 (704points) July 7th, 2009

A lot of you Flutherites seem to hold to logic and reason. Even though it does change from generation to generation. It isn’t perfect.

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27 Answers

Qingu's avatar

A lot of you Flutherites don’t seem to hold to logic and reason. Even though it doesn’t change from generation to generation. It is perfect.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The alternative to logic being what exactly?

Also, lets try not to point fingers. We can discuss this rationally without judgments.

marinelife's avatar

I am not clear on what the question is here.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with logic and reason.

What is it that you think is imperfect about it?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Actually, pure logic is kind of perfect. It’s why mathematicians like it. There isn’t that room for squabbling.

Qingu's avatar

To be fair, according to Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, there are statements in logic that are both true and unprovable, so logic is not a complete system.

(Therefore, Marduk exists.)

cookieman's avatar


Logic is perfectly beautiful unless attempted by someone without the appropriate equipment

And, if you combine with empathy, passion and faith, you might actually get somewhere.

marinelife's avatar

I will acknowledge that logic is not the answer to every situation in life. It is, however, a valuable tool. I am not clear why you would dismiss it as you do.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Too late to edit my comment, but I finally found what I wanted to link to.

Bri_L's avatar

The question seems to hint that you may have some specific examples in mind. Is this the case?

Bri_L's avatar

@uberbatman – Thanks

Given that link I would suggest that there is a great deal of emotion behind the statement “Logic and reasoning sucks and will not save you from anything.” I don’t mean to imply it isn’t warranted. But I am sure if you are troubleshooting a computer you would want to apply logic and reason rather than emote with the clenched fist you make when it doesn’t work.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It certainly has its place – and in my life, logic and reason are afforded a large chunk of that place – I hate when emotion takes over logic

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Bri_L <angrily shakes fist>

Bri_L's avatar

@uberbatman – hehe

What I hate most is logic and reason applied with out compassion. It is great that we can come up with the solutions to complex and difficult problems but I think it is complete crap if we are not even smart enough to be able to explain unfortunate results in a compassionate manner.

I think a good social acumen is just as important. You see this a lot on fluther. People can come up with very applicable answers but lack the communicative skill, or concern, to take into consideration how the way they phrase their answer might affect the other person.

Qingu's avatar

@Bri_L, but can’t logic and reason aid in discerning social effects?

quasi's avatar

Logic and Reason are both great pieces of music software.. What is the issue?


Thammuz's avatar

If it isn’t perfect you’re doing it wrong. Logic, assuming you have all the necessary data and you have it right, works without a hitch. And this is true even for people, assuming you know them well enough, no madness is completely without method, it’s just a matter of knowing what that method is.

Thammuz's avatar

@Bri_L As Richard dawkins would put it: “so what if i’m offended?”. I don’t care how people deliver their messages, i care what the message is. And seeing how mostly people who embellish their message have nothing good to say in the first place, i’d really rather be straightforward and brutally honest, rahter than soften the message up and risk the meaning and gravity of it to get lost in the process.

I know of politicians who can sentence you to death in the most polite and tactful manner, and doctors who can tell you to fuck off while telling you you’re safe to go home because they healed your illness. And i prefer the second group a great deal.

Bri_L's avatar

@Qingu – I am not sure I understand your point. I agree that they can aid in discerning social effects. My point was that there is also a need to be aware others. To be compassionate towards their feelings which can defy logic and reason as it is not usually possible to know everything their is to know for most of us to make a truly fair judgment.

@Thammuz – I am not saying that there isn’t a time or place for brutal honesty. I am saying that there are some people who feel it is the only way. I would disagree. I would suggest that the exact same messages could be gotten across in some instances, without the unneeded harshness.

dannyc's avatar

Many people mistake their opinions as being the only logical and reasonable possibilities. Thus they spend an inordinate amount of time and effort in defending their logic and reason to the bitter and tragic end. Most political debate centers around hundreds of supposedly cerebral minds arguing why their logic and reason should prevail. It is how logic and reason are applied and propagated that is often at the root of dysfunctionality. Religious views are no different, within the context of one’s belief system, many points are developed as logical and reasonable assuming you believe in its tenets. Logic and reason is not always the answer to a problem or a circumstance. We often use irrational behaviour to accomplish things due to our particular psychological profiles. Superstitious beliefs have helped in calming people when understanding of a particular event was beyond comprehension. Thus early aboriginals prayed to the Sun, etc which may have been illogical but generated a tribal ritual which assuaged fears. We have many modern examples. If it were only a logical world it might be quite boring.

mammal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir i think you’ll find that our morality and ethics are stimulated and defined by our emotional responses rather than our logic. The danger here being that we deny ourselves moral indignation because it arises hot and spontaneous from somewhere within our stomach, before threatening to vaporise our brain…..and is thus illogical.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Morality and ethics should be governed by logic because the spontaneity of emotion blurs the distinction of what is moral or amoral.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mammal that’s all fine and good…doesn’t preclude logic ruling emotion, what you point out

mammal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir certainly, as far as logic is a wise ruler and not a tyrant

mammal's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Dialectic thought is an attempt to break through the coercion of logic by its own means. Adorno…Minima moralia

mattbrowne's avatar

Nothing is wrong with logic and reason. I greatly value them. But as @Qingu pointed out logic and reason do have limitations.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks, it is not that logic and reason are bad the main thing is many do not care to use it. Logic, it seems, is avoided because it causes people to have to face and accept things they are not comfortable accepting.

When a person comes out of prison for instance, logic would say the best thing for them is to be in a stable safe environment. But no one in areas of low crime and stable lifestyle wants excons living in their neighborhood because they fear for their safety and that their families. The classic NIMBY. They say put them elsewhere, but there is really no elsewhere to put them. Especially when it comes to those branded as sex offenders. There is little logic shoving them under bridges because once they are off parole even if they have an ankle bracelet they can leave the area, and since they do not know where they can actually live they will be in the wind and unsupervised. How or who will do it if he truly decides to be nomadic? Many people will feel better but logically they are making their situation or the situation of others less secure.

Women who are raped don’t report it. They feel bad enough of the attack and don’t want to be grilled on the horrible details by law enforcement and then get peppered on the witness stand to they suck it up and say nothing, or they remain mum because they feel the attacker will come back for retribution. Logically each day he remains free they are no safer and neither are many other women. So long as he is free if they don’t move and neither does he, he can always comeback. It is logically like a having a vicious dog but there is a hole in the fence around its yard. So long as the hole is not mended the dog can get out and attack whomever, only until the fence is repaired can the dog be prevented from attacking. Logically it is the same way with a rapist, the only way to assure the public safety, especially females is to neutralize the rapist. But because the emotion and the feeling of losing one’s dignity, etc many attackers are allowed to roam free.

Logic and reason are often not apllied because people let emotion kill it off or block it from working.

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