People who don't know what the word Logic
means but insist on using it as if it were magic
al really get on my nerves. Logic is not the same as Common Sense
, and while what one person’s common sense tells him another person may reject, if they stick to formal logic
they can always reach a joint conclusion.
There’s a battle going on in E2, just like in real life, between people who seem more-or-less capable of thinking rationally (and of taking a scientific point of view), and those who are not. The people who can think rationally aren’t nicer than those who can’t, and are not necessarily better artists or friends. They do, however, explain the world in a way that they can all agree upon, and that leads humanity to many accomplishments (not on a moral, but on a technological level). For a thread of rants on this stuff, including my own, you can go here.
Today, however, in our quest to improve noding on E2, I wish to discuss the use of the word logic. I’ll start off by giving an example of the misuse of it, in Ten reasons why creation scientists don't believe in evolution by Nafal, reason number 8. I quote:
8. Natural selection has severe logical inconsistencies.
Natural selection has these and many other logical inconsistencies: (a.) Although evolutionists say that organisms are suited for their environment because they evolved into it, being suited for the environment is much better explained by the fact that they were created for the environment rather than that they evolved into it. (b.) The fact that living things have similar patterns and design points to a common designer better than to a common ancestor. In fact, such variety in the world could not have been produced if we all come from the same ancestor. (c.) If we all come from the same ancestor, we would all be murderers and cannibals by the simple act of killing a cow. (d.) While small and underdeveloped things do become grown and developed (a baby to an adult, a seed to a tree) it is also true that the small and underdeveloped first come from the developed (a baby from its parents, a seed from a tree). The pattern of growth is circular not simply from the crude to the developed as natural selection proposes. (e.) Our needs exceed those of survival. Needs for love and friendship, for example, cannot be explained if all that we do is for survival. (f.) Order and interdependence in the world argues for a designed and against chance.
Does everyone here notice what I notice? Not one logical inconsistency. Not once does the writer refer us to an evolutionary claim and have us follow the idea ‘till we reach a contradiction. I’m not talking about the fact that formal logic wasn’t used – even free form logic has nothing to do with the above text. So lets all try to understand the following idea (I’m writing this in bold so we all get it):
“Logic” does not mean making assertions that seem to make sense to us in a particularly smug way.
Logic has rules, and we may be using logic when we are using these rules.
Now, some of the claims in the above quote may appeal to a certain kind of common sense, and it’s OK to use them in an argument (wrong as they are, imho). But if I may add an additional contribution, small as it may be, to the way people argue/discuss things on E2 :
The fact that you don’t like something doesn’t make it go away. It is the unpleasant truth (to many) that we must all die, yet we will not live forever. So even without relating to the absurdity of claim (c) in the above paragraph, the fact that something makes me morally wrong means at most that I should change my behavior, not that the fact is incorrect.
So, to sum this whole thing up, If you people want to give emotional reasons for things, if you want to state your opinion in general or give an example – you’re welcome to. However, don’t go around calling that logic.