Monday, April 23, 2007

Death of Intelligent Conversation via an Abandonment of the Laws of Logic and Reason


In postmodern society, there is an imminent danger that threatens to arrest our development. I am referring to the prevelance of people who wish to prohibit the use of conversation as a means to attain a greater and more profound understanding of life. I call these people "impossible to talk to". More seriously, however, these people have usurped positions of power and authority in the government as well as in public schools and universities. Their influence is being felt anytime a thinking person who lives by the laws of logic and reason attempts to converse with this rapidly reproducing breed of human.

In everyday conversation, the ideal productive conversation would look a bit like this:

Person A: I believe that guns are not in and of themselves responsible for violence around the country.

Person B: Why do you think that? I believe that without guns, people would not be nearly as violent.

Person A: Think about it this way. Was there violence in the world before the invention of guns? Think about tens of thousands of people being sacrificed with sharp stones during the Aztec reign.

Person B: Well, I suppose so.

Person A: Do you think, then, that without stones the Aztecs would have changed their religion and stopped sacrificing people to their gods?

Person B: Probably not.


This conversation is progressing forward. Even if Person A ends up changing their opinion and conceding to Person B, the conversation is using what is called a logical progression of ideas. I like to call this linear reasoning.

This is more like what actually occurs in conversation:

1)

Person A: I believe that guns are not in and of themselves responsible for violence around the country.

Person B: You're stupid for thinking that. Of course they are.


[Person B stomps away exceedingly frustrated]

OR

2)

Person B: How could you believe that?

Person A: Let me put it this way. If people wanted to do harm to others, they would find a way. I believe individuals deserve a right to protect themselves.

Person B: You're an idiot. How could you ignore that violence is a massive epidemic in society that President Bush is ignoring?

Person A: What? That isn't what we were talking about.


[Person B folds arms, lets out a frustrated sigh, and stands there rolling their eyes. The person is, however ready to continue this circus act of a conversation]

Example number one can be considered "truncated reasoning", for when reasoning is required of Person B, a deep sense of "not knowing how to think" rises up from the depths of his empty reservoir for potential intellect, and a primal urge to end the conversation rears its ugly head. Name calling is a manifestation of this "cornered wild animal" feeling.

Example number two is an image of an individual attempting to have passionate opinions trump well thought out linear reasoning. In this attempt, the conversation becomes "circular", because Person B tries to bend the progression back towards the beginning statement. This time, however, it is just different enough to try and bait the hook to lure Person A away from the actual topic. This is a reaction to having virtually no desire to use the laws of logic to deduce ideas. If Person B were to use logic, then they would actually have accountability for the thoughts that they threw around a conversation (if it could even be called such).

The moral here is, for the benefit of all that is good and wise, be a linear rational thinker who ascribes to the profoundly significant laws of logic! If we do not, this country will be further solidified into one filled with intellectual and conversational chaos. (For those not familiar with a logical progression, it follows that America will end up like a less organized version of Dante's Inferno. Or France. Whichever image reveals itself to you more clearly.)

1 comment:

Tim said...

I once had a conversation on this with a fellow-student who had drunk deep at the well of Derrida. I will never forget what she earnestly told me: "What you have to understand is that in continental philosophy, those three laws of logic -- noncontradiction, excluded middle, and ... and ... I can't remember the third one, but I have them written down somewhere -- they don't hold!"