# Thread: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

1. ## Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I find myself to be a logical person. Except when joking, I often use logic (on people?). I personally like logic, because, you know, it is logical. To me it makes sense. I enjoy logic, and if I need to prove a point, I often use logic.
I can see why some people don't like logic, as it can be used to prove them wrong, but that seems not to be the only reason. Some people I know seem to just not like it for other reasons, not sure what.
Do you like/dislikie logic? Do you know other reasons people like/dislike logic? I would like answers to that second question.
Also, feel free to discuss LOGIC!

2. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Often, people who have a correct answer but lack the ability to express it in logical terms get outmaneuvered by others who have greater ability and use it irresponsibly. Those people then learn to distrust logic, since, in their experience, its main use is to persuade, regardless of the validity of the argument and the conclusions reached.

There are various subtle ways to draw attention away from logic one knows to be faulty. Even skilled people have to watch closely and be willing to ruthlessly pin the deceiver down. Less-skilled people don't have a chance.

3. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Something confusing I realized from my discrete math class (which began with propositional calculus)

Suppose you have some function P(x) that always evaluates to false. Now suppose your universe of discourse is the empty set.

∀xP(x) is true.

4. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I like Logic. This includes Formal Logic, the abstract process behind deductive reasoning and arguments. As to why people don't like that, it's because to an untrained eye it looks a lot like algebra, only for arguments - which a lot of people seem to get put off by. Also because it's not always the most intuitive subject at first glance.

Most usages of 'logic' during internet arguments aren't referring to that though. A reason why logic in that sense tends to get disliked is likely a result of people shouting out various logical fallacies* because they think it'll let them 'win' the argument. Also doesn't help that lot of people will try to claim that they're being 'the logical one' in arguments, regardless of how accurate their position actually is.

*most of which aren't formal fallacies to begin with.

5. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I like logic. It helps me frame my thoughts more solidly. It helps to highlight the problems with my thoughts, and correct them. It gives reasons for particular thoughts, rather than gut reactions which may be different for various people.

The big problem with logic, though, is that important context can be lost. It is very easy to come up with a sound logical concept that is valid in isolation, but becomes invalid with seemingly extraneous factors in the real world. This is especially a problem when "It's logic!" is used as justification for ignoring the context properly and automatically assuming the logical concept is automatically correct.

Proper logic takes a serious look at counterarguments and considers how they might invalidate a concept.

6. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by blunk
Often, people who have a correct answer but lack the ability to express it in logical terms get outmaneuvered by others who have greater ability and use it irresponsibly. Those people then learn to distrust logic, since, in their experience, its main use is to persuade, regardless of the validity of the argument and the conclusions reached.

There are various subtle ways to draw attention away from logic one knows to be faulty. Even skilled people have to watch closely and be willing to ruthlessly pin the deceiver down. Less-skilled people don't have a chance.
These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong.

Yay! A community of people who like logic, just like me. I find that it helps me keep some things sane.

7. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Duck999
These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong.
"Intuition is what tells you you're right, whether you are or not", and sure, those people won't like logic, either. But if you're logically skilled and use your logic responsibly, you (personally) are going to be exposed to the self-convinced wrongies, not the outmaneuverable righties (who you would agree with rather than deceive).

8. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Duck999
These people who dislike logic, tend to dislike it when I use it to prove something false that truely is false. They don't have the right answer, and refuse to listen to logic and possibly be proved wrong.

Yay! A community of people who like logic, just like me. I find that it helps me keep some things sane.
Are you familiar with the term "sophistry"? Logic is frequently expressed with language, as that is the medium most relevant to humans and their abstract concepts like law or love. Language, unfortunately, is also easy to twist. You don't need to be correct to persuade someone, you just need to sound correct.

Logic is a tool, not an ideal. It's like when people scream "SCIENCE!" at you and expect you to agree.

9. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I like logic. I don't like the sometimes held conception that "logical" equates to "true" or "good". Using false premises makes the most logical of reasonings demonstrably false.

10. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by blunk
"Intuition is what tells you you're right, whether you are or not", and sure, those people won't like logic, either. But if you're logically skilled and use your logic responsibly, you (personally) are going to be exposed to the self-convinced wrongies, not the outmaneuverable righties (who you would agree with rather than deceive).
True, "With great power comes great responsibility." Logic can be utilized as great power. Personally, I use my Logic as responsibly as I can, as in only when I believe there is sufficient evidence for an assumption to be made using Logic.
I like how Logic seems to have become a proper noun that you can now use.

11. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Duck999
I use my Logic as responsibly as I can, as in only when I believe there is sufficient evidence for an assumption to be made using Logic.
And if you're not sure, but have some Humility, you can use Collaboration to reach a point where you're comfortable using Logic.

12. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Grinner
Logic is a tool, not an ideal.
Forgive me. After thinking on it further, this statement is patently false. Logic isn't even a tool; it's really a cognitive process. Everyone employs logic. At it's most basic form, that process is what enables us to interact with...well, everything. Some have even constructed formalized systems of logic to deal with more abstract problems.

13. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Grinner
Forgive me. After thinking on it further, this statement is patently false. Logic isn't even a tool; it's really a cognitive process. Everyone employs logic. At it's most basic form, that process is what enables us to interact with...well, everything. Some have even constructed formalized systems of logic to deal with more abstract problems.
Systems of Logic can be very useful. They can even make situations even more logical than they already were. Yes, Logic is a cognitive process utilized by many people.

Now I won't get out of the habit of capitalizing Logic... but I don't capitalize other forms of it like logical.

14. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Duck999
Systems of Logic can be very useful. They can even make situations even more logical than they already were. Yes, Logic is a cognitive process utilized by many people.

Now I won't get out of the habit of capitalizing Logic... but I don't capitalize other forms of it like logical.
Yeah, kinda like how people capitalize God...

15. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

The Logic behind capitalization of Logic... IT IS ILLOGICAL!

16. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Grinner
Yeah, kinda like how people capitalize God...
That's an unsettling comparison that should probably not be taken any further.

17. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

People tend to informally deify things important to them. Like physics to physicists.

I'm inclined to believe it's an extension of personification. This is not to say that people necessarily believe these things have divine power*, but that the human mode of thought abstracts these complex things into self-contained ideas, relatable to the human experience. Those ideas then memetically diffuse into the general populace, giving rise to things like Logic.

Where they go from there depends upon the person in question.

*But maybe they do. You never know.

18. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Logic is the math of words. Like algebra, correct procedure with numbers does not mean you get THE correct answer, just A correct answer. It's on the person plugging data into the variables to make sure the data is correct, relevant and complete. A logical progression which is missing a detail can come out very differently than it should have. A logical progression with correct details which don't matter will give a result that doesn't matter.

You must account for human interfacing. Humans will, after following a strong of logic, agree with the logic (because it is correct and logical) but then they will infer relevance. A case made for a tangent will be assumed important to the main topic. Interacting at all with faulty logic will give that logic credence by acknowledgement.

I have a love/hate relationship with logic. It is a wonderful tool in the hands of the proficient. But it gives the impression of rectitude, binary existence and antagonism.

I've actually had an argument which made valid rational sense (however inapplicable I myself find it to be) about why a character I was using was a bad fit for the game. This didn't address how the new houserule worked at all, though. I still don't know how that house rule works...

19. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I like logic because it allows me to logically prove my points in a logical manner. There's nothing circular about that, and there certainly exists no fallacy in valuing logic as a way of proving itself correct.

20. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I'm disliked?

21. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Logic
I'm disliked?
Not by this guy:
Spoiler

22. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Well, two primary reasons for disliking logic are:

1) it's hard. Analytical thought processes are slow and effort-consuming. When faced with a complex argument, just determining whether it is logical at all is a task in itself before we get to the second problem:

2) it suffers from "shit in, shit out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.

23. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Humans are not very good at logic, but once mastered, it together with empiricism brings us:

And that is worth losing your mind over.

24. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Logic
I'm disliked?
Sure. But everyone has their faults, right? Brush them off.

Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet
2) it suffers from "shit in, shit out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.
Generosity principle, aha. I knew that would have to be an actual concept with a name.

Humans are not very good at logic, but once mastered, it together with empiricism brings us:

And that is worth losing your mind over.
So science is an ultimate evolution?

25. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet
Well, two primary reasons for disliking logic are:

1) it's hard. Analytical thought processes are slow and effort-consuming. When faced with a complex argument, just determining whether it is logical at all is a task in itself before we get to the second problem:

2) it suffers from "shit in, shit out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world. This is why people dislike those who nit-pick logical errors - even correcting the error doesn't necessarily change the core of the argument. This is also why various forms of the generosity principle exists - in actual discussion, it's polite of the listener to fill in obvious logical flaws in order to get to the spirit of the argument, instead of just arguing of its form.
Pretty much this.

26. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

I love logic... but I am careful about it too. Before you get too high on logic...

Logic can successfully justify things that most of us would consider immoral.

Sociopaths are better at logical tests and logical reasoning than regular people.

Pay too much attention to your mind, and you neglect your heart and soul.

27. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Aliquid
Logic can successfully justify things that most of us would consider immoral.
I like the question to Utilitarians: "so would you torture one person to cure a million people of dry eye?"

But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.

28. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Logic
I'm disliked?
I was gonna weigh in on the capitolization thing by saying that obviously, whenever it's capitolized without an obvious reason they're referring to you.

29. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Basically, I dislike logic as it's often invoked because I feel it is often used as a normative standard where it should not be and without any real justification for its merits as said standard. Logic works best for discrete problems considered in the abstract and tends to fall apart when language is involved. As such, it tends to have very little place in most of the arguments in which it is brought forward as a normative standard. It basically cannot withstand any amount of syntactical ambiguity or a great deal of context and cannot justify itself as a standard without violating its own standards with circular reasoning.

In things like math proofs, in which discrete problems are considered abstractly and syntactical ambiguity is not a factor, logic is fine. Even in logic problems, though, I think syntactical ambiguities in the problem's framing often interfere; in the classic "Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever," consider the debate over the validity of "exploding head" solutions like Uzquiano's.

30. ## Re: Logic! (And why it is liked/disliked)

Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet
2) it suffers from "shit in, shit out". An argument can be perfect in its logical form and still have nothing relevant to say about the real world.
Very true. It's also important to remember that just because an argument is valid in it's form, doesn't mean it's correct. Logic is a way to reason from a premise to a conclusion; if the premises are nonsense then the conclusion probably won't be much better, regardless of how valid the reasoning used actually is.

Originally Posted by blunk
But if you ponder those questions using your emotions as a sanity-check, you'll answer them well. You might even be able to justify your answer with logic... and then you're *really* on to something.
I'm curious where you draw the line between that behaviour and rationalisation. Because as it's currently written there doesn't seem to be much of a difference.
The problem with emotional intuition is that eventually you'll hit a disagreement where "I feel that [X]" comes up against "Well I feel that [not X]" at which point you have nowhere further you can go. This is fine when the issue is trivial, such as 'what is the best Queen song?', but when dealing with topics that have actual impact in the real world (e.g. "How should we allocate this medical research funding?") it can be a bit of a problem.

Originally Posted by Grinner
Sociopaths are better at logical tests and logical reasoning than regular people.
And depressed people are better at making realistic appraisals than non-depressed people.

Originally Posted by Zrak
It basically cannot withstand any amount of syntactical ambiguity
That logic struggles when arguments are ambiguously phrased isn't a problem with logic, it's a problem with the phrasing. If you're actually trying to have a discussion then you want to avoid as much ambiguity as possible so as to make sure people understand what you're saying.

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