On Reason/Logic

There’s a particular line of thinking that goes “we’re the ones who use logic and reason. The people who oppose us don’t. Therefore we’re right.” There’s various ways of stating this argument. The problem is it’s all rhetoric and no substance. It does nothing to address arguments and everything to distinguish the character of it’s opponents as inferior.  It’s used by all manners of belief systems religious and non religious. I’ve heard people say things like, “I can’t believe people are so illogical as to believe in a god.” On the flip side I’ve also heard, ” I can’t believe people are so illogical as not to believe in a god”. It’d be fine if there was further argumentation to support such claims, but it usually just ends there.  The further problem is this that everyone uses logic and reason to come to what they believe. So saying I believe logic and reason to come to what I believe is tenuous at best. The question is though what is reason and what is logic?

Reason is thinking. You sit down think through a problem make some connections and form an argument. Reason is your ability to make connections establish premises and form an argument. Logic is that science which rigorously investigates peoples reasoning. It’s creates a from for people to look at an argument.

Reason is not a belief system. Logic is not a worldview. There is no inherent value system in reason alone. There’s nothing to say in thinking that selfishness is worse than altruism. That generosity is virtue and hoarding is a vice. That’s a value judgement assumed in someone’s reasoning. How to evaluate which one is better is an entirely different matter.

That being said everyone, whether they admit it or not, uses reason. Everyone has a pattern of thinking that is logical. Whether it’s valid, invalid is the discipline of logic, but people make connections which have a form. Everyone thinks through problems using their own specific reason.

So, I suggest that we get rid of this condescending I use logic and reason and they don’t attitude. It’s cheap and useless and doesn’t address actual arguments.



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