Kim Rippere

Always Evolving

Who Needs Logic?

I had a conversation with a friend recently about her belief in something “more.” At some point, I began talking about how it was the responsibility of the person positing something about the world that holds the responsibility for justifying the statement. Reason Being’s recent post on Martin S Pribble reminded my of this moment.burden of proof

As he says, “Without question, the person who is making the positive claim has the burden of proof.” This is such an easy statement to make and seemingly obvious.

When I made my statement about positing something about the world, my friend nodded, looked at me, and thought for a minute. Her response was; “no, I don’t agree with that statement.”

Let’s say I was dumbfounded.

With a degree in philosophy and two years of formal logic I did my best to explain and give examples of both the reasonableness and logic of this statement. Examples of invisible flying pink unicorns and celestial teapots were useless as they do not get at the fundamental logic. The expose it, but were easily brushed aside with “so.” <eyes bulging>invisible pink unicorn

We went round and round about this an other things for a few hours. This is a discussion that I try not to have with anyone. I don’t want to talk about the nature of “God” or the universe anymore; instead I proceed as if I am correct.

After using the Socratic Method several times and backing her into a corner . . . she easily slipped out with some mental gymnastics and denial. Her final thought was that I was, “too smart for myself.”

Honestly? This was her best argument??? I know and understand too much; therefore, my opinion is less valid.

Of course, contemporaneous with her pronouncement I was thinking about all the studies that correlate higher intelligence and atheism.   Did it matter that I was smarter though?  Not to her, it was a weaknesses in her eyes. <facepalm>

How do we talk to one another when the language we use is completely different? If we are unable to agree on such a basic premise as logic how will we ever effectively communicate about the nature of the universe?

3 thoughts on “Who Needs Logic?

  • Rosemary Lyndall Wemm says:

    Religion is something that intelligent and educated people “grow out of”, provided that they take the time to investigate their indoctrinated beliefs properly. People who are lazy, pressed for time (who isn’t). basically or poorly educated or at just not birds of enormous brain just don’t have what it takes to move beyond moral, intellectual or cognitive maturity in this, and several other, areas.

  • ReasonBeing says:

    Good post Kim. I have struggled with that conversation myself. It would appear to me that you succeeded in making your point. Your friend chose to ignore the answer/truth.

    You ask how can we communicate in such instances. I think a key part of that has to be a willingness to be open to new ideas. As a freethinker, I am always open to new ideas. Many of us do that, and perhaps we take it for granted. If the person we are conversing with is not really willing to be open, then the conversation is doomed to fail. It fails because the other person is ceasing to be rational.

    It does not matter what the topic of the conversation is. If you and I are discussing how to build a deck in my yard, and you have a great plan, show me exactly why my plan will result in a collapsing, and I choose ignore your plan, I am no longer a rational actor in this process.

    To have a meaningful conversation, both parties need to be willing to change their view, examine the evidence, and respect the process.

  • Grundy says:

    And that’s why moving beyond the debate is a good plan, as you mentioned in the earlier post.

    Yet they draw us back in! The need to correct is somehow bred into the most logical of us. It’s a curse…if we believed in curses.

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