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Reason and logic

+1 vote
What is meant by living one's life by reason and logic? Is it an attempt by people that live by those standards to try to justify what they do to people other than themselves or the masses? I hear people say they live by reason and logic often. I don't know what or who determines reason and logic, if it is one of those types of things where there's supposedly some sort of source outside the individual determining these things?
asked Oct 21, 2015 by Zubaz (4,140 points)
i have had numerous discussions with "believers" in reason/logic/science. sometimes they are pretty interesting (when the others are open-minded), mostly, though, they are basically religions discussions, with an additional layer of condescension.

reason and logic are, to me, nothing more than tools - intellectual tools. creativity, instinct, intuition, emotions, etc are also tools. and like all tools, they are useful for some things by some people, and not others. also like all tools, they are not the only tool, nor necessarily even the best tool for a given task.

dawkins, hitchins, neill, et al; those religious atheists are every bit as binary, faithful and dogmatic as the religionists they attack with such zest. i don't even always disagree with them - i just cannot take their pomposity, condescension and rigid dogmatism. fucking dawkins (and neill, if i remember) attacks islam with a zenophobic passion that reeks of religious and racial prejudice, labeling it "evil" as compared to christianity. and sees no contradiction there. they are no doubt smart folks (by some measure), but i find them pathetic and uninteresting. except to heckle.
It seems like a strange way to try to live by. At least to me it does. The atheist fundamentalists often say they live that way and often I find a lot of the things they say to be ironic.
human, "ironic" is a very generous way to put it. :-)

2 Answers

+2 votes
to the extent that this applies to anarchists... anarchists went through a phase (some are still in it i guess) of reacting to the overwhelming influence of the church by saying that science and rationality would be the new thing that brought the revolution.

and of course, not specific to anarchists, there is a (growing?) gulf between religious people and atheists (fueled by people like richard dawkins, ugh) and increasing intolerance on both sides (as far as i can tell from my sporadic toe-dipping into pop culture).

and yes, of course it implies all kinds of ridiculous things, as you allude to, objectivity being prime among them, and a global standard, etc.
answered Oct 22, 2015 by dot (52,130 points)
+2 votes

What is meant by living one's life by reason and logic?

When I hear someone say this the (almost) immediate pattern I sense is that all of my interlocutor's interactions are mediated by way of the unquestioned articles of faith driven by a passion for a simultaneous bloodlessness and hostility toward the very sensuousness through which such mediation is at all even possible. It bespeaks a demand for both a neatness of what is messy and a judgement that this messiness somehow 'proves' some type insufficiency on the part of this sensuousness. Any, if not every, moment or instance of sensuousness strong-armed into a role of redundancy and secondary importance at best...as 'barely existing,' paraphrasing Plato, in comparison to its representation; its name and image.  

This role is a perennial one-liner vainly declaring itself-as-itself  repeatedly, from start to finish (as start and finish) and with increased vigor when any attempt to get a word in edge-wise is made by another. All questioning is taken as protest and brusquely handled as such. How can one dare question the authority of logic, after all!

It's paradoxical, then, that the whole insipid, anti-climactic farce within which this role 'in itself'  may even begin to count as half-coherent, cannot come to its own conclusion; the ending must be forever deferred in this sad, lifeless theater since it is impermissible to have a story to tell. Only endless points of disembodied positions within the imperative of three-dimensional space overlaying the world, perhaps even believed as 'transcending' our world, if not an improved version of it. All the singing, humming, drumming and dancing sensuality grounding, and thus allowing for, this screeching command will never be admitted into these spectre-filled catacombs, excepting when useful as the servant-girl named 'Evidence,' after which she's promptly sent back to her miserable quarters by her man-handler.

All the fleshy succulence of possibility sings to us against this rather narcissistic article of faith whenever we silence our chatter and simply allow the shining forth of appearance. Logic is the will to never shut-up, however. The Word is always primary.

Now, none of the above is meant to indicate my 'rejection' of using reason/logic. It's not a question of belief in regard to reason/logic at all...at least for me. As others have already said, reason and logic may be considered tools, and like all tools they have a use and a process of evolution, which is rarely, if ever, questioned by those purporting to live according to reason and logic. My experience has been, if the so-called origins of reason and logic are allowed to surface in conversation, they are nearly always placed within a mythological framework we might call Progress, with all of the latter's attendant yet unexamined assumptions, implications and consequences.

answered Oct 27, 2015 by AmorFati (7,440 points)
edited Oct 27, 2015 by AmorFati
"perennial one-liner vainly declaring itself-as-itself  repeatedly, from start to finish (as start and finish)"

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but by that, do you mean it's circular?

" if the so-called origins of reason and logic are allowed to surface in conversation, they are nearly always placed within a mythological framework we might call Progress, with all of the latter's attendant yet unexamined assumptions, implications and consequences."

yes, this!  ^^^

@human

not a dumb question at all. yes, logic may be considered circular since it's predicated on 'things.' in shorthand this is known as 'a=a,' aka, 'the law of identity.'
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