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Thread: Confidence in reason

  1. #1 Confidence in reason 
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    Confidence in reason

    A popular adage goes something like this “I cannot argue down a conviction that has not been argued up.” It is impossible for me to use reason to convince someone who is without confidence in reason that they should have confidence in reason.

    An adult without confidence in reason must start the effort to study reason before they can gain a confidence in reason. Perhaps that is impossible also. Perhaps it is the case that an adult without a confidence in reason will never have confidence in reason.

    I suspect that 95% of the adults in the US have no confidence in reason and if my logic is correct they never will have that confidence. If that does not depress 5% of the population then nothing will. Perhaps it will delight the other 95%.

    Further thought leads me to modify that statement. The 95% without confidence in reason do in fact have some confidence in reason. They do recognize that as an instrument to gain a goal reason is necessary.

    What can we say about the 95% and reason? I guess we can say that they often have confidence in reason but that confidence is restricted to a limited aspect of life.

    Is a person capable of having confidence in reason when that person is almost completely ignorant of the nature of reasoning?


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  3. #2  
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    Are you certain then, that most reasoning is not merely rationalisation? If that be the case then the 95% are the honest practioners of living and the 5% are liars.


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  4. #3  
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    Reason is a flexible thing.

    Example:

    Man see's psychiatrist re imaginary tiger under his bed. Psychiatrist tries 'reason' on this patient for two years, but still the tiger persists. Then one day the psychitrist abandons his 'reason' and tells the man:
    'put your mattress on the floor, then there is no room for the tiger'

    The man never again had a problem with 'tigers under his bed'.

    The psychatrists view was that he abandoned 'reason' and used nonsense to 'cure' his patient.

    But you could argue, that the psychiatrist did use 'reason' to help his patient, but a type of 'reason' that was applicable to the patient rather than being a universal type of 'reason' that is understood by many.

    One man's reason is thus another man's nonsense. Only a majority view of what is logical allows us to define what is good 'reasonning' but it is not neccessarily so.


    My daughter was flapping recently about all her teeth falling out overnight and nothing 'sensible' that I said could placate her, so in the end I told her 'yes all your teeth may fall out tonight, but think of all the money you'll get from the tooth fairy.' She fell promptly to sleep with a smile on her face.

    When using 'reason' always consider what the final object is. Is it to 'win' and impart 'logic' or is it to effect an 'action' in the listener. In my case with my daughter, logic was not helpful in inducing calm and sleep, but an 'incentive' to embrace what was feared was! So, mission accomplished, regardless of flawed logic.

    So before referring to reason in order to effect a change, consider the change you want to effect and the individuals reaction to logic. If logic is not 'their ' thing, consider the forms of 'reason' that this individual may be more receptive too.

    Parents have to use 'dodgy' reasonning with their kids all the time.

    .
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Are you certain then, that most reasoning is not merely rationalisation? If that be the case then the 95% are the honest practioners of living and the 5% are liars.
    I am not certain of anything except for the fact that 76% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
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  6. #5  
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    Theory....

    You make a good point.

    I think you are correct. Our educational system has generally never taught us anything about how to think and about the art and science of CT (Critical Thinking). It appears to me that few people know anything about the nature of reasoning unless they took some philosophy in college. That is why every adult must seriously consider taking the effort to learn CT.
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    I am not sure about being taught how to think, but certainly freedom to 'think' is helpful, rather than the parrot style of learning adopted in schools. Even when they try to encourage free thought it is always directed towards the same 'end' or the student is wrong.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    I am not sure about being taught how to think, but certainly freedom to 'think' is helpful, rather than the parrot style of learning adopted in schools. Even when they try to encourage free thought it is always directed towards the same 'end' or the student is wrong.
    That raises an interesting question. If we have the freedom to think but know little knowledge about the art and science of thinking just how free are we? If we have the freedom to change jobs but no other jobs are available just how free are we?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    I am not sure about being taught how to think, but certainly freedom to 'think' is helpful, rather than the parrot style of learning adopted in schools. Even when they try to encourage free thought it is always directed towards the same 'end' or the student is wrong.
    That raises an interesting question. If we have the freedom to think but know little knowledge about the art and science of thinking just how free are we? If we have the freedom to change jobs but no other jobs are available just how free are we?
    And herein lies to answer to the free will v fate debate.

    it is all about the number of options/choices.

    Free will = illusion of ability to make a choice, fate = the fact those choices are limited/pre-determined by other factors.

    Back to thought. I help my friends resolve problems by giving them alternative ways of looking at things, but I was not taught how to do this.

    One thing the power bases of the world do NOt want is for the little people (us ) to be thinking for themselves. So you can be sure if a system was in place it would NOT encourage free thinking but rather follow what we see, which is 'think this way or no way'.

    Free speech is an illusion, free thinking exists only until they develop a device to monitor and restrict that also.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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