Logic must apply to all of reality.
I have been blogging now for three years. My aim has been, first of all, to try to apply proper thinking skills to the important topics of the times. These are mostly about putting in place institutions which can secure a peaceful and healthy life for people.
These are; a workable, multipolar world order, the need for real democracy, and the need for economic organization to meet human needs; deep subjects. Smaller issues are a waste of time; they cannot be resolved until the deep issues are first resolved.
The problem is that the deep issues are deep and the thinking of most people is inadequate, including that of most internet commentators or “public intellectuals”. Whole societies, not just individuals, can become unable to think. This is the core problem in western society; the reason conditions are deteriorating.
There are three big things which impair people from thinking through the big problems of these times. One is the straight out thought policing; anyone who has a brain and can use it is a threat and a target. Second is the great difficulty getting right information about things.
Finally there is the simple lack of proper education which imparts proper thinking skills. Schools, in fact, often seem to promote the exact opposite of thinking skills. People who think they have been trained in ‘critical thinking skills’ are usually the most obnoxious ‘deductive’ thinkers.
There are not many really good thinkers out there. This is what frustrates me as I work on the net to build and convey an accurate picture of reality. There are many people who are knowledgeable within a narrow range, but total fools when they step out of that range.
For example, I will follow somebody who has a good grounding in public health, and so has excellent information regarding the covid disaster and the pervasive government malfeasance allowing it. Then this person puts a Ukraine flag on his twitter handle. If it is suggested to him/her in even the most neutral way the need to look deeper into the reality of the Ukraine conflict, this produces an angry recitation of every distortion and fake atrocity coming from the war propaganda machine.
Another example; someone is very good at debunking the ‘climate’ nonsense because he has a very good scientific background in this area. But periodically the person comes out with daft ideas on political economy and on economic history. It seems the Chinese Communist Party invented the climate change nonsense to trick their enemies into destroying themselves, so ‘Red China’ could take over the world.
A further example; I follow an independent journalist who is ‘on the ground’ in various war zones. The person is very good at debunking the propaganda narratives of the western media. She has shown exactly how some of these fake videos were staged.
Alas, when the covid pandemic arose, she went completely stupid about the need for normal public health measures to control it. Covid is not real; it is some kind of government plot to increase surveillance, everybody must think about this, and so on.
Yes, but not think about it too far, and ask why things done for centuries to control disease outbreaks have suddenly become this enormous threat; to what, is not very clear. In fact, when looked at closely, the hostility to every pandemic measure is mostly about their threat to “business.” That is, to the flow of profit, and to the business agenda of keeping taxes low and keeping public health services pared to a bare minimum.
All three of these rabid responses are very damaging to the public’s ability to respond in a correct way to an issue. Russia and China are not a threat to us. Public health measures are not a threat to us. The military capitalist oligarchy which rules over us is a threat to us.
These responses were triggered by different kinds of false information transmitted by different kinds of false media. In one case, by the so called ‘main stream media’. In others, by ‘independent media’ well funded by right wing political/economic interest groups.
But in all these cases, the response has been primed by a deeper ideological indoctrination, which the subjects seem mostly unaware of, accepting it as a self evident truth. What is behind the ‘Russia invaded Ukraine’ trope is the ‘liberal’ doctrine that ‘violence is never justified.’ The enthymeme, the unstated principle here, is that violence is not allowed by the perceived ‘other’ or ‘inferior’; it is only supposed to be used on them.
Behind the hostility to public health is a warped understanding of rights which has been cultivated by libertarian propaganda machines. This view sees rights only as individual rights, and is blind to collective rights, as though there were no such thing as society. All this is, of course, backed by industrial capitalism, out of its interest in propagating selfishness and making it impossible for government to act in the common good.
Then we have the climate hysteria, designed to drive the public into accepting deindustrialization and a sharply reduced standard of living. It is frightening how effective this mass conditioning has been, based on no facts at all. It relies ultimately on bad education and flawed socializing, flawed character development.
The kind of education hammered into the human herds of the west, from grade school through university, is about deductive reasoning so far as it pays any attention to reason or logic. That is, about applying a set of laws to a set of facts which are assumed to be true, and coming up with the ‘correct’ answer. This really only works in mathematics.
The most basic laws of thought seem to be rejected by ‘liberal’ education; a thing is true or false, nothing is true and false at the same time, and a thing is true when its contrary is false. Thus there cannot be multiple truths and multiple realities. Truth is true, everywhere, every time, for every one.
This is abhorrent to western liberalism, which professes to value ‘freedom of thought and speech’. Yet western societies are usually very conformist. The big problem is that they are usually conforming to something that is totally wrong.
Thus we have societies in which there is really no right or wrong, and truth is a cultural war between powerful factions. People enthusiastically endorse the ‘Truthifications’ of the faction they are aligned with, to be seen as virtuous people within it, or they will go along with it or stay silent to avoid being attacked or ostracized. This is the strongest force driving all the propaganda, the propagation of bad ideas.
The last powerful weapon in the propagandist/cultural warlord’s arsenal is, of course, control of information. They are most effective when able to shut out all contradictory information. However, the ‘big lie’ method; the endless loud repetition of falsehood, will always work eventually if it cannot be silenced.
To sum this up; there are three causes of cognitive failure. There is the lack of good education and thinking skills. There is cultural intimidation and the idea that there is no definite true and false to the world. And there is, not so much a lack of good information, but the massive propagation of bad information.
Thus, we have the present zombie howl for war with Russia, regardless of the harm and danger to our own countries and to the world. Alongside it, we have the hysterical shriek about a ‘climate emergency’ and for economic measures which would collapse economies and living standards globally. Then we have the determination to stop all public health measures, which will drastically effect the health of human populations.
What is salient is that all these seem to be coming from the same source, with the same basic aim. We have a global elite which has the idea that it wants to reduce the world population and scale back industrialization. This concept is inevitably a very hard one for most people to wrap their heads around.
A big part of the answer to all this is for more of the world’s people, especially in the western nations, to be able to think properly. In western nations especially, this involves pushing back against the ‘liberal’ education promoted by the global elite.
The culture of ‘false tolerance’ must be rolled back. To paraphrase Dostoyevski, it amounts to intelligent people being banned from speaking because it might offend the imbeciles. It is about propagating learned passivity, making people unwilling to think properly, to speak and act on the truth.
What I mean by ‘thinking properly’ is not that everyone must become an expert on a subject to be able to talk about it. It is about having the mental skills to develop criteria and context about the subject.
Criteria are the basic principles of a subject. Grasping them does not allow you to make definite conclusions on the subject or even to judge someone else’s conclusions. They do enable you to know when someone is talking nonsense about the subject.
Context is about the specific facts of a situation to which a subject is applied. A person who is an expert on a subject but applying it to a situation without the right context will get it wrong. A person who is not an expert but has good thinking skills can apply the right criterion and context to a subject, and will at least usually avoid getting it wrong.
For example, in the case of pandemic malfeasance; criteria are the basic principles of public health and how they were developed, the history of infective disease control, the history of pandemics, pandemics in history. The context is the present political reality, internationally, nationally, and locally, how it developed and how it works. As well, the ‘on the ground’ facts of how the pandemic has been handled and mishandled.
When you have learned proper thinking skills, you can develop good criteria and context in all subjects which are relevant to you. You develop and refine a broad understanding of reality, and see deeper into the causes of things, the links between them.
Of course, developing criteria and context in a deep way requires a lot of brain work, and a lot of information hunting and a lot of plain old observation. Most people would not have the time, even if they had the brainpower or inclination. They are too busy struggling with everyday life; another element in the elite cognitive control system.
However, if we are to ever have a real social democracy, a government serving the publics needs, this will require a sufficient part of the population to be able to make correct decisions about public policies. This will require an improved education system. It will also require people to be free to use reason without all the intimidation against clear thinking which now goes on.
A good system of democratic decision making will also critically require a unified system of public information which gives us the facts through the full spectrum of reality. This will require an understanding that there are no multiple realities, truth is what it is for everyone. Currently, people in western countries are either locked into ideological echo chambers, or else bombarded with a kind of white noise.
This will require a huge revolution in all aspects of western civilization. How that will happen is uncertain. It will be both a cause and an effect of a big jump in the thinking abilities of a critical mass of the population.
This revolution in thinking and informing will require some sort of new communicative medium. Even the best of present social media platforms are obviously not adequate, but they are all we have now. Many different groups of people are trying to develop alternative media which cannot be ‘lead’ by the forces of disinformation.
Alas, this does not realize the problem or the solution. Public discourse does need to be lead; in the direction of correct thinking and an accurate model of reality. You can get at correct ideas through present media, but it takes too much work and the need to sort and discard too much misinformation.
The most sorrowful thing about present media is as described above; people who have things right within their limited frame of competence, but are destructively influenced by bad information in other subjects. Worse, they are often indoctrinated in belief systems, and hostile to any facts and reasoning contradicting them. This is why the culture of most western societies has become so toxic.
Public discussion must be led by those with good thinking skills and a commitment to the truth. Ideological belief systems of all kinds must be rejected, starting with the worst one: the idea of multiple truths. It must be acknowledged that the truth is what it is, everywhere, every time, for everyone.
Western civilization is falling apart right now due to prevalent failure of logic. No one can think straight. There is no standard of truth; all these factions in society think they can have their own truth, their own reality.
If we will have a functioning society, the truth must be accepted. This does not mean some “official truth”. Truth is not a matter of public opinion, either.
The Truth is what it is, nothing is true and false at the same time, and a thing is true when its contrary is false. When people apply this, they begin to build a real understanding of the world around them. They become able to make good decisions through the full spectrum of reality, which enables them to begin to live well.
I am always reluctant about the words “logic” and “reason”. Their meanings are almost interchangeable but there is much misunderstanding of what is good logic or good reasoning. I usually prefer the word ‘logic;’ it gets abused less than ‘reason’.
There are three modes of logic; deductive, inductive, and abductive.
Deductive reasoning is applying a set of rules to a set of facts to get a conclusion. This really only works with mathematics, which is limited in what it can tell us about reality.
Inductive reasoning is about collecting facts and forming hypotheses about them, which are then verified. This is usually called the scientific method. It only works if there is a limited number of facts to be worked with.
Abductive reasoning is the logical mode usually used in dealing with real world problems, where decisions must be made with limited time and information. It is not about finding the simplest explanation for incomplete information, but the best explanation; the one which fits best.
The abductive mode of logic is what I mean when I talk about ‘thinking’ and ‘reasoning’.
One response to “Failure of Logic”
[…] that, I employ abductive reasoning. I have done some recent blogging about what that is. It did not get so many reads, for some […]