Logicalness Made to Measure
What Do We Call "Logic"?
Logic has been defined as a proper or reasonable way of thinking and understanding something. I see it as stemming from a default mental technology of processing factual reality that is specie-specific for us humans.
It is popularly referred to as a "common sense", which is based on agreements existing in our collective consciousness about the nature of reality perceived by our five senses, limited as they may be, and reliable as they my be.
The general sense of what is logical or real has been changing from one cultural epoch to another, each one with its claims generated by intellectual arrogance, which didn't allow new generations to come up with some more plausible and accurate answers.
So, there was a time when it was logical and "common sense" that our planet was flat, and red-headed women were witches, with a whole bouquet of other nonsensical illusions that paraded as logic. In fact, it was very much of something that I am calling "convenient logic" in this article.
Now, is it only a flaw of intellect that we would ascribe to past generations - which should be forgiven for not knowing any better? Not really. As a matter of fact, as we are about to see, it is still quite popular way of being "logical" these days as well, and the nature of our global coexistence is the testimony to it.
Convenient Logic - the very Fabric of Our Paradigm
In its extremes, reasoning may either make some sense or it is a nonsense; however, there is something in between, something that appears like perfectly logical organization of thought - except that it isn't that.
In a moment, when you see the examples of this "convenient" logic, you'll immediately understand what I am talking about. You may also recognize how much of it is being used in everyday life, in politics, religion, in media, and in some dogmatic insistence in science with their intellectual favoritism - all of which composes the existent paradigm about what is real, moral, and worth believing.
Convenient logic is exactly that, convenient constructs of sequiturs and causalities which don't honor any objectivity in a matter.
Free of Worms
Perhaps it is most recognizable in humor which is actually an extreme use of the convenient logic, while it's twisted enough to be funny. So, let's see it in a little joke.
In order to demonstrate the harmful effect of alcohol on living organism, the AA lecturer picks a wiggling worm by tweezers and drops it into a transparent container filled with alcohol. The worm instantly stops wiggling - dead.
Now the lecturer is asking the audience what was obvious from that experiment. Someone from the last row, with a bottle sticking from his coat pocket volunteers to comment: "What I...hick!.. just saw was...hick!...a proof that if you drink...hick!...you won't have any worms."
This little joke, silly as may be, clearly shows how we tend to arrange concepts into a "logic" that suits us best.
Some more "Worm-Free Alcoholics"
To get more examples of convenient logic, all we have to do is listen to the speeches of presidential candidates at the election time. Favoritism aside - doesn't each of them sound perfectly logical in their presentation of those burning issues faced by the nation, and reasons why the voters should elect him/her as a solution to those issues of political and economic significance?
And yet, we are bound to turn our blind eye and deaf ear to one of them in favor of our champ who is speaking the "only" logic worth our trust. Why is that? There is no way that a candidate would take a risk to come up with some crazy agenda, as he would drop out of the race instantly.
So, he "must" be making some sense, isn't that right? Both of them being logical - and yet being in opposition. What's objective there? Nothing at all, and the result of election will be based on pure subjective favoritism heated up by media which will be using their own logic, equally convenient to them, depending if they support left or right politics.
Indeed, those millions of voters will prove how popular is convenient logic.
Sounding Smart - Must Be Smart
Whether we are talking about a renowned thinker of a world class or an armchair philosopher, their delicacy seems to be asking those questions that cannot be answered. Sometimes they remind me of medical scientists who had to label their diagnoses and pharmaceuticals with those ridiculously long and tongue twisting names.
Who knows why. Perhaps to appear academically more dignified than an ordinary Joe to whom the word "brain" is good enough without a need to rename it into an "encephalon", or to rename the throat-ear-nose specialist into an "otorinolaringologist". How is that for fancy?
Likewise, philosophers will, possibly unknowingly, be using convenient logic to make themselves look "ultra-smart" since they are tackling such impossible questions. Their version of convenient logic has a lot to do with "mismatching concepts". Let me give you a few examples.
Enigma of the "Purpose of Life"
Here is a smart question, one of those puzzles tackled by philosophers through the ages: "What is the purpose of life?" How many of you are finding nothing wrong with this question? Well, don't count me in, because to me it's a typical mismatch of concepts.
Let me define it first. You see, I am perfectly capable of imagining a creature that's half man and half horse. While there is "man", and there is "horse", there is no "man-horse", just because my mind is capable of imagining one.
Likewise, our mind is capable of mismatching other concepts which together don't make any logical sense. Thus, while there is "purpose" and there is "life", there is no "purpose of life", just because my mind assumes that there "must" be a purpose for everything.
More Mismatching Concepts
Try another one where the mismatch is more obvious : "Where is the end of space?" Our linear minds can't conceptualize anything that doesn't have an end, except for abstract terms like numbers and time - but space is something that's obvious to us, and that's why this question sounds logical. But it's a mismatch of concepts again.
We fall into the same logical trap as we think of "creation", because we can't fathom that something in existence didn't first have to be created - and by somebody or something.
Just like we are having a hard time dividing the physical world between Newtonian and quantum realms and their respective different laws. Somewhat unable to say "what is real", we can't divide our concepts of a manifestation and a creation.
Namely, while something may be manifested into physical/tangible realm by collapsing energy waves into its particle form, it didn't have to be "created" - since it has always been in existence - just in the quantum field of infinite possibilities, in its hypothetical, or latent state if you will.
On the other hand, by a Newtonian logic, "things" are created from something and by somebody. Someone had to "create" a seed of an apple or an apple to give a seed - they argue.
So where does it bring us? Again into the maze of convenient logic and mismatching of concepts - you pick what sounds logical to your particular intellectual favoritism. Have yourself a god if you wish to fill into those Newtonian blanks of "something created by someone".
Or think of consciousness with its ever creative principle affecting the physical manifestations - and I don't mean "somebody"' consciousness, but a constant in the universe in the company of other constants like time, space, speed, mass, and energy, ever present and ever committed in the creative scheme of the universe.
Choose for yourself.
Some Day Some of Us
Are we capable of thinking logically other than using convenient logicalness? I am very much inclined to say no. For a simple reason that our very concepts are questionable, so it doesn't matter how we play with them. We don't know the nature of man, god, universe, matter, we are just pretending to know.
For starters, it would help us enormously if we could know what we don't know, but we don't know even that. Our intelligence is unfolding slowly (maybe too slowly) together with the evolution of consciousness. What is evolution of consciousness? It's our perfecting of the "receiver" so that we can tune into more and more of those "stations" available.
Just like some classic composers of music swore that they got complete compositions "from somewhere", our consciousness evolution will mean more and more of that ability developed.
What we can do in this meantime is make our animalistic aspect of nature obsolete, so that real homo sapiens emerges "out of nowhere" - once liberated from the stranglehold of the beast called ego. Let's try becoming who we really are - and then let's be really logical when our concepts transcend into something new.