Train Your Brain to Use Logic

Train Your Brain to Use Logic
Train Your Brain to Use Logic | Source

The Difference Between a Concept and an Actual Thing

There is only one true difference between an actual thing and a concept of a thing. The actual thing will have some way for it to be measured by our senses. It can be measured directly by sight, hearing, touching, smelling, or tasting.

A thing can also be measured indirectly by instruments that we have developed to interpret the thing's properties. For instance, although we can use our senses to detect electricity, we measure it through instruments that have been designed to measure electricity safely. We also measure other "invisible" things like wind, temperatures, and gasses.

A concept has no measurements that we know of. A concept exists only in our imagination (which is also a concept). We are currently unable to measure a "thought". Perhaps someday we will develop a method of measuring "dreams" and "imagination", but we currently cannot do this.

Another way to think of an actual thing is to understand that a thing can physically occupy a space. Gas cannot be seen, but it can occupy the space inside of a tank. Things also have "locations". They can be plotted on some type of map or reference point. All things are physically real as opposed to being only imagined.

Ghosts and Spirits

ghosts and spirits are just tricks of the imagination
ghosts and spirits are just tricks of the imagination | Source

Many People Think Ghosts Are Real

Ghosts are real to many people because they think they have "seen" them or "felt" their presence. This phenomenon is so widespread that there are books, movies, and TV shows all about ghosts and spirits.

With today's special effects, ghosts and spirits can be made to appear quite real and many people are fooled into thinking that they are real. Ever since the first double exposure on an old roll of film, people have been passing the rumors of ghosts and spirits around like candy.

Even before cameras, people were fooled by magical tricks into thinking that ghosts haunted this house or that hotel. Old battlegrounds are particularly "haunted" by dead souls. But this is only the power of suggestion working on people's minds. No ghost or spirit has ever been physically measured with any real device.

Ghosts and spirits do not occupy space, they cannot be measured, and they are not composed of measurable elements. No matter how much desire you have to see a family member or loved one that has "passed", this event has never been proven to happen.

Therefore, thinking logically requires us to re-examine the sightings of spirits to figure out if they are real things or just concepts.

Remember When Santa Was Real?

Santa Claus
Santa Claus | Source

Children Believe in the Santa Claus Myth

Parents tell their children all about Santa Claus. They tell them if they are good little boys and girls, Santa will record their names on a list and at Christmas time, they will get their wish regarding some gift.

But if they are bad, Santa Claus sees this too and he makes a tick on your name that counts against you and you may or may not get your wish for a birthday present on Christ's day.

This is the exact same tale that parents teach their children about the other person on Christmas, the Jesus figure. They tell you he is the son of God and it is his birthday and if you are good Jesus will know. If you are bad, Jesus will know that too.

The only difference is that they insist that Santa is real, just like Jesus is (when you are too young to think logically about this). The gifts are slightly different, but the story is the same.

But if you compare the two concepts logically, you can easily tell the difference between what is real and what is a concept. Like the difference between a physical body and a ghost - as in the example above. You should train to think logically about things.

How to apply logic to determine if Santa is the same as Jesus/God - Compare Similarities

The Story
Santa Claus
Jesus/God
Lives in a real? place
The North Pole (is a real place, but it's impossible to actually live there)
Heaven
Has helpers
Elves
Angels
Has a naughty/nice list
Yes
Yes
Punishment
Gives you coal
Lights that coal and burns you with it
Rewards
Christmas presents
Eternal life
Mode of transportation
a sleigh & reindeer
Four horsemen and/or lightning bolts
Has different interpretations depending on what part of the world you live in
Yes
Yes
Accepts communication
Yes in "letters to Santa"
Yes, in the form of prayer
Celebration held
Christmas
Christmas

Compare traits between Santa and Jesus/God

Characteristic
Santa Claus
Jesus/God
White hair
Yes
Yes
beard
Yes
Yes
has special clothing
Yes
Yes
profession
makes toys
makes furniture (Jesus)
Omniscient
knows if you've been good or bad
supposedly knows everything there is to know about everything
Omnipotent
Can traverse the world in one night
can do whatever he wants
Omnipresent
at least one night per year
is everywhere
age?
no one knows
no one knows
Exists?
No
no one knows
Basic commandment
Obey your parents
Obey your god
Loves children?
Yes
Yes
Peaceful?
Yes
No

Why Use Santa versus God to Train Your Brain to Use Logic?

Because the comparisons are well known. Almost every child in the world knows about Santa Clause (Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, etc.) and Jesus/God or gods by other names. One source cites over 900 names for "god".

Logical thinking comes from using your mind to sort out details and facts and figures. It's easiest to start with things and concepts that are familiar to you. Then you can train your brain to see the differences between things that you know about.

If I were to use the thing called Earth versus the concept of "dark matter", you would probably not be able to understand the terms and references being made.

So start with what you know and learn to tell the difference between an actual 'thing' and a probable 'concept'

A Little Test

Do you now understand the difference between a real thing and a probable concept?

  • Yes - a thing has physical characteristics, a concept does not.
  • No, I'm still confused.
See results without voting

© 2015 Austinstar

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Comments 17 comments

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Wow. This was a thought-provoking hub Leia on logic between Santa and God. Very insightful and intriguing. Voted up for interesting!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Using the power of your brain will unlock a lot of knowledge. Maybe even some knowledge you didn't even know you have!


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Thanks for that tip Leia. I might just do that real soon.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 19 months ago from UK and Mexico

Some friends and I once found over 40 words in English for penis, too! I can't help feeling there is a certain similarity with the number of names for a god!

Interesting article Leia, as usual.

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

If the absolute belief in God is illogical, then the absolute belief that there is no God is just as illogical, because neither concept can be proved.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Well, that's rather a circular argument, but I agree with your sentiment. If you will notice, I did not post a conclusion one way or the other on the examples given. It's up to you to make up your own mind. Feel free to add or subtract or multiply or divide. You can use your brain any way you want. This is but one way of doing that.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

How is it circular?

A circular argument would go like this. "I know god exists because the Bible says so, and the Bible is the inspired word of God."


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Your god exists because mine doesn't. Because it's illogical. That's a little circular to me. Your example is the common one.


f_hruz profile image

f_hruz 19 months ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

To train your mind to apply thought in more logical ways would be soo much easier and far more widespread in a society with a greater focus on intellectual values and a more rational outlook on nature and the world around us ... instead of letting us put to sleep mentally by constant exposure to trivia, commercial manipulation, religious BS, political and national propaganda, etc. ...

These mental pollutants are a fertile source for breeding morons to various degree suited to sing "God bless America!"


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Your god exists because mine doesn't."

That's not what I said. Since I cannot prove that God exists and you cannot prove that He does not exist, why is your belief more logical than mine?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Basically, because one belief is based on logical deduction from facts and figures and the other is based on stories that have been passed down and reinterpreted through several generations without any factual evidence.

Santa Clause doesn't exist if you examine the facts/hypothesis. But believers in God insist that god exists even when presented with the near identical set of facts/hypothesis. This is illogical.

Belief in god is circular because of the way you stated, "I know god exists because the Bible says so, and the Bible is the inspired word of God."

Anyone can say, "I know Santa exists because the TV news/weatherman plots his course every year, and the TV news/weatherman is the authority on things that happen in the sky."

But you are correct in saying that neither of us can actually prove either belief. We can't prove for or against either belief actually.

Beliefs are concepts, they are not real things.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Basically, because one belief is based on logical deduction from facts and figures and the other is based on stories that have been passed down and reinterpreted through several generations without any factual evidence."

On the contrary, I base my belief on logical deduction too. Evolutionists, for instance, believe life began spontaneously one day, but they can't duplicate it. But let's say it did occur that way. Did it come complete with DNA? If not, how did it know to replicate?

Sorry, but believing all this occurred spontaneously and without intelligent design just requires too much faith for me.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Will, I'm too old and too tired to retype all the arguments for evolution. Even the Pope thinks it's a fact now. The only reasons we can't "duplicate" it is because we haven't discovered the right formulas YET, AND because we don't need to.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

But let's apply a little logic here. Given that life suddenly created itself one fine day, did it come complete with DNA? If not, it could not replicate itself, could it?

BTW, labs have been trying for years to duplicate spontaneous life, but have so far been unable to do it.

My point is that both of us are applying logic. Logic does not belong only to atheists. I'm more of a Doubting Thomas than a blind follower.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

So what are you saying, Will? That we just throw out all he science in the world and STOP trying to figure out how things work?

Please read this hub and ALL of the comments:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Atheism-an...

You will find your answers there and they are far more eloquent than me copying and pasting everything over again.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 19 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"So what are you saying, Will? That we just throw out all he science in the world and STOP trying to figure out how things work?"

No. I said exactly the opposite. My mind is not closed.

And with that, I'll leave your fine Hub!


jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 18 months ago from Tasmania

@WillStarr, you said this: "Evolutionists, for instance, believe life began spontaneously one day..." Dear friend, you really need to update your own ideas about the Theory of Evolution. Right now, you seem to have no understanding. If your rejection of atheist thinking is based upon such a basic misconception, then maybe all of your religious beliefs need to be brought under the microscope.

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