A Bit of Logic on Logic
Logic. Logic. Logic.
When you repeat it enough times it begins to sound like complete gibberish. You might start to feel like you have no idea what logic really even is. Never a bad place to be when you are trying to understand something.
Let us discover a bit then, for most of us truly do not understand. We use the word sloppily and lazily. We say to be logical is to be smart, or to be intelligent, or to be rational. Such simplistic equalizations hardly display any understanding of what the word actually means, but rather equivocate by passing the buck of understanding to equally ambiguous words. Rational, smart, and reason have equally unclear definitions in the minds of most people.
But they are all known when we see them. At least this is what we must conclude if we are to go on applying these words while in fact not consciously knowing what they do mean.
Well, this is no place for equivocations. Let us bring the dark to light, the foggy to clear -- let us delve into the subconscious connections we form between words and find the reality present. Only then can we truly know what logic or reason or rationality are, and only then can we accurately apply them in our own lives.
Do you wish to be more logical? Well, you cannot possibly accomplish this if you have no idea of what you seek, isn't it?
We say math is logical. Let’s start there.
Mathematics has rules. That is probably its most defining feature. Without rules, it could not be math. Math is structured about principles. The principle of addition. A number has a corresponding value, a quantity, and the concept of addition is that quantities are added. Subtraction, division, and multiplication all have their own rules.
Imagine now an equation with an unknown variable, x, where we are asked to solve. We understand the solving of this problem to be logical thinking, and the way we solve it is to apply the rules we know. Without knowing the rules, we could not solve it; we need nothing but the rules to solve it.
It’s all about the rules.
It seems then that logic has to do with rules. Well then, in that case let us look at what a rule is. The noun rule comes from the verb “to rule.” It means there is some power. It means we give up agency to an external force.
A rule controls us, we do not control the rule. Anything, therefore, that is in our discretion cannot be a rule. A rule must exist outside of us. We can choose to live our lives by a rule, but in doing this we create the rule to be outside of our own discretion. We tell ourselves, no matter how we are feeling in the future, this will be the rule. And so it is not us, but an object we create. This object is permanent as long as it exists as a rule, and exerts force on us. It limits us. For example if we live our lives by a rule saying we must always pay for what we owe, then we can never steal.
Rules limit our options in that way and rule over us.
So to be logical is connected to be ruled over by ideas. When we do mathematics, we cannot say we are expressing ourselves in any way; we cannot say we have any discretion. It is the rules and laws that do the work. Whether we are there or not to solve the problem, the answer exists according to the rules.
And so there it is: logic is a set of rules acting of their own accord. Logic is when no person or whim exists, when no personal preference interferes. Logic is the same for all people who claim to be governed by the relevant rules, because the rules and not the person are doing the work. The rules have taken on a life of their own, and interact with themselves as if no person was there to operate them.
And yet... there is a creator, and an operator of the rules.
You should have many questions at this point.
A good deal more must and will be written on this topic to answer them.
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