Where Emotion and Perception Rule
December 03, 2018
Filed In: Philosophy
My degree is in classical philosophy, with a heavy emphasis in Ancient Greek thought. Of all of the courses that I took, none stand out as more impactful than Logic. When use that word, “logic,” a lot without really appreciating its nature. I will use an upper-case "L" when referring to Logic in the classical sense. Logic is a system, very closely related to mathematics, that helps us to process thoughts and positions to ensure integrity and congruence.
Within Logic, there are two general types of formulas: tautologies and fallacies. Tautologies are formulas that are always true, while fallacies are formulas that are essentially flawed and can never deliver a true result. The unique nature about these formulas is that they are expressed with variables, making them completely interchangeable with any subject matter or problem. When you study and understand the underpinnings of these types of formulas, you start to be careful in the way that you construct arguments. This caution is heightened because you wouldn’t want your logical argument to be able to be reconstructed for illicit purposes.
The true benefit that Logic brings to any debate is that it is impartial. It allows for any argument to be processed and evaluated without relying on the innate fickleness of human nature. Emotion can turn on a time, but Logic is immovable.
As we move into a society of screaming and stalking, we are collectively shrugging off an objective referee in favor of emotion and perception. We claim to support science and Truth, and yet we cherry-pick the science that we like and have made truth wholly subjective. This is most clearly illustrated in the idea of someone speaking, “their truth,” as if truth applied unevenly and particularly to each individual person.
Abandoning Logic creates dangers beyond what we imagine in our limited views. Evils like racism or sexism can put on the cloak of moral rectitude because, in a world where there is no Truth, they can easily adapt to pass muster.
We must resist the very easy course of just doing what feels good, and instead engage the full capacity of the human mind. As rational beings, we posses tremendous creative capacities to create. New ideas should be generated, tested, and shared. When we retreat to the recesses of emotion as our sole guide for morality and justice, we are doomed to exist in a world ruled by the irrationality of a pubescent teenager.