The Logic of Reason

It took me a while to think of a topic to write about this week – it happens from time to time. I said a while back that I was going to write an Avengers review, but I’m holding back on that until I’ve watched it a second time, and so this week I’ll just sort of be musing on a topic that I’ve had on my mind recently. Apologies if it’s a little philosophical, but if you’re a regular reader here you should be used to reading incoherent rants.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the concept of logic. Logic is what I base most of my decisions on, and largely defines how I live my life, and this is true for almost all of us whether we realize it or not. Every decision we make is based on what seems reasonable and logical to us – if something seems too illogical, we won’t do it, unless we decide that being illogical is what makes it worth it (see: hipsters).

And yet, if Star Trek taught us anything (and I’m pretty sure it taught us a LOT), it’s that being logical all of the time is just not natural. Being human is basically defined as sometimes being illogical – going againt the odds, making choices that don’t really make sense, because that’s what we do. If everyone was always logical, we wouldn’t have art, or music. We also wouldn’t have Twilight, and the world would be a better place, but I digress. What’s important to point out is that every individual needs to work out when logic is the way to go, and when its OK to be unreasonable.

Take religion for example. I’m an atheist, because I don’t believe any religion knows what it’s talking about when it comes to why we’re here and what happens when we die. The difficult answers are that we don’t know, but its likely that when we die it will be the same as before we were born – we won’t exist. Of course, people don’t like this idea, and don’t like the fact that they don’t understand why they’re alive, so varying ideas have propped up about gods and higher planes of existence, that people can choose to believe in to satiate the fear of the unknown.

This is illogical to me. While I respect anyone who chooses to be religious (unless they’re dickwads about it), I just can’t get into the mindset of choosing to believe in something that there’s absolutely no proof for. Personally, I think the nature of the universe is so ridicously complex that we’ll never understand it, and rather than make up the truth and ignore the problem, its more interesting to live in a world where we’re forever learning more and more, and there will never be a point where we don’t have some knowledge to seek; some level of understanding to reach. To me, being religious is the philosophical equivalent of holding your hands over your ears and going ‘la la la la la’ until you die. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

While my stance on religion is very unlikely to change at this point, I do have to question my faith in logic and reason because of how irrational my mind is in other areas. An example of this is spiders. I fucking hate spiders. They’re disgusting, they make my skin crawl, they appear when you least expect them and generally thinking about them makes me shudder. And yet I know that my fear of them is completely irrational – all spiders in the country are completely harmless in every way – they can’t hurt me in the slighest. But still, whenever I see one appear, I have a mini freak out moment and have to drop anything I’m doing until its dead and out of the room. I know that if their presence was irritating, I could just pick up the spider in my hand and throw it outside, but I would rather cut my hand off than touch a live spider.

Now, I could be unhappy with this state of affairs. I know what my trusty logic is telling me, and yet I can’t accept it. Why can’t I follow the most logical path? Instead, I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that spiders are one of the many things that remind me I’m human – I’m an imperfect, illogical being, and I kind of don’t mind that. If I was anything else, it would be kind of unsettling. I just have to put up with the fact that people who don’t mind spiders can taunt me about it, for being stupid to be afraid of something that can’t hurt me. I’d be more OK with that if I was allowed to openly mock religious people, but I don’t think that will catch on anytime soon.

OK, that’s it. Hopefully some sense can be drawn out from something in that wall of text. Remember you can subscribe to my site or follow me on twitter @heroicrant for notifications about when I have a new article up. Thanks for reading.

/end rant


3 Responses to “The Logic of Reason”

  1. There are at least a couple kinds of spiders in my part of the US who could ruin your whole day, swell your arm up to the size of your leg, etc. Most of them harmless, though, as you say.

    Logic is as good as the language you use to frame your initial assumptions.

    Good match between actual situation & the language you describe it in => logic works.

    Bad match between situation and language => garbage in, garbage out.

    People navigate through the so-called real world mainly via “fuzzy logic”, ie logic with enough flexibility to allow for 1/2 truths. Trying to program robots to operate via exact specifications, what we got were robots that mentally crashed, shied from tissue paper and tried to run through solid obstacles, etc. Deliberately using fuzzy logic, programmers produced systems that ran more-or-less right most of the time– like human beings do it!

    Most human languages are really bad for expressing what mystical experience is about. For someone who doesn’t think it’s worth the effort to search for meaning in that kind of subject matter– trying to communicate it is probably not worth the effort. You might try reading a little Rumi, see if your worldview could get a little Rumier. Or not. Whatever.

    • Fuzzy logic sounds like a good way of describing human nature, a sort of twisted logic that shouldn’t work but does. And it’s certainly difficult to communicate concepts like how I see the universe, but then I’m certainly no philosopher. I just get bored and think a lot, and then write about it on the internet πŸ˜›

      As for the spiders, I know there are some pretty nasty ones out there, but that doesn’t mean I should be afraid of the ones smaller than my thumb here in jolly old England πŸ˜›

      Cheers for the response, hope you enjoyed reading πŸ™‚

  2. Maybe u could do an essay of ‘The reason of logic’ πŸ™‚

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