Op ed

Come Let Us Think Together in Logics (The Socratic Square part 1)

You might be with the school of mechanicism, holding the belief that life is evolutionarily random, or with that of vitalism affirming that life is organically masterminded by a higher being,

yet one thing hardly anyone could deny is the fact that all are faced with the practicality of day to day survival (existentialism).

And that out of the quagmire of our human life and survival, reason and logic provides the way forward.

Wake up in the morning, go to work, come back to house, eat, drink, fun, bereavement et cetera characterize the human life on this earth.  In the pursuit of our day to day endeavors, do we have the right logic to deal with people, circumstances and event that confront us? Do we ever know that reason is not hit and miss sort of a thing but follows a particular trail aliened with the universal principle of being? Why logical thinking is adorned by so many is due in part, to its procedural clarity in the verification of truth. The mansion of truth here is necessary because everyone seeks the truth directly or indirectly. In the search for truth, there are observation, (problem detection) data collection, analysis and results. This is a general methodology applied mostly in empirical sciences. Thus the results of some statement of facts (every object thrown up must gravitate, or the earth is spherical or the body has motor neurons or an atom is the smallest particle of an element and indivisible) ought to be open to further probes or verification. Mathematics, though dealing with abstracts numbers (2+2=4) has the same step by step ascent from problem to problem solving and then, the result. These being the case, how do we verify a statement (presumed to be factual) that someone had made? We need to be equipped with logical thinking process and analysis.

Logic is a unique kind of science, of thinking and living. In my own view, it is the top priority science of life. This is because; the mind can never at a given point be void of thoughts. And where there are thoughts, there ought to be good reasoning process (logic). It is logic that organizes our haphazard thought and channels them to work as productive machines that propels good life. As a branch of philosophy, it is not just an academic discipline; it is a way of life. All we need is to realize we are logical being intrinsically. The universe is a realm of quantum mechanics and moral dilemmas. We need logic to tackle it.  Confusion abounds everywhere. It is only by the light good reasoning process that truth is illumined and clarified. Logic deals with the mind, how we think and function.  The entire world is ruled by the human mind. Bad reasoning means bad living.

How do we then perceive, internalize, analyze and judge things around us? One may ask why on earth anyone should be guided on how to think and live since it is an inherent factor of human beings. The answer is simple, some people’s thought processes and lives are very unsound, full of errors. Some can’t simply think, the masses, the media, their faith, their education, their culture and their society think for them. These are what analytical thinking (logic) is set to strengthen up. If ones trails of thinking are replete with erroneous steps, one then lives a very illusory, deceptive, impractical, bogus, ignorance and shallow life. His/her direction and principle of life becomes fussy. And you hear people say, ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’. The way we think predetermines the way we live. It is very easy in this our noisy world today to get carried away to the extent of being out of touch with the core of our inner self (the center of our existence and meaning). The euphoria of popular culture is so enticing that it has alienated people and washed them away like gully erosion. Thus it seems humanity is confused on which direction to go.

Have you ever asked someone ‘what do you want’ and he/she starts wobbling in thoughts. The person in question lacks an analytic lucidity and direction of what he/she actually wants. We can take blind leep in life, but that does not imply we spend all our earthly lives gambling about things. Reason is a gift of God which he intends us to use as a practical solution to some of the things that confronts us on day to day bases. Yet many have abandoned the use of reason to embrace the seductive ecstasy of the sentimental popular manner of thinking—mass opinion. And as a result, the modern world is more than ever in history beseeched with huge ethical crises. Good life (morality) has become schizophrenic. All because of the way we think and reason. I have always believed as a life principle that ‘the moment we stop thinking, we start dying’ as humans.

Because of the role that reason play in organizing our lives, we, in line with the codewit principle of education for liberation of the human mind, have created this little week by week philosophical forum (The Socratic square) wherein we would explore some of the rudiments of  thinking and living reasonably. And this ought not to be understood as opium of success principles. Rather is would serve as discursive forum based on examining ways in which people commit mistakes in their day to day judgment about reality in its totality. Remember Socrates the Greek philosopher: ‘unexamined life is not worth living’

I believe that the greatest tool (power) in the universe is not science or technology, it is not money, it is not natural elements, neither is it politics. It is simply the human mind. What happens in it determines how ones world and the world are run. This is a simple truth. That is why a proper use of the mind is necessary. The mind is as real as the physical body. There is a way to keep the physical body properly functional. If we don’t exercise, eat right and take care of it, it begins to malfunction and thus ruin us. The same with the mind, if we don’t reason properly, our entire world crashes, we would blame people, witches, wizards and the rest of them in the superstition hierarchies.

I am not a mathematician or an empirical scientist, but I simply believe there is a core to everything. Even the very lives we live have a core. And in most often, we loose touch with this center of our beings. That is why Socrates said ‘man know thyself’. We are confused, we are messed up, we are aimless, we are stranded, we are estranged in our own world and we act thoughtlessly. In the center of our beings lies reason and truth. In it also lies God (if you are a believer). What others tell us might not make sense, but what we tell ourselves makes a lot of sense.  Have you ever sat down to ask yourself ‘who am I’ and then listen to the depth of yourself (conscience) reply with sensible demonstration? One might hear the following: I am truthful, I am a lair, I am deceptive, I am confused, I am friendly, I an unfriendly, I am bitter, I am angry, I am a killer, I am peaceful, I am a rubber, I am good, I am bad and so on and so forth.

Being in touch with the core of our lives (where truth lies) is the beginning of the good logic of life. As we said earlier, philosophy and logic is a way of seeking the truth and also a way of good life (the search for wisdom and truth). Therefore good logic of life is the first premises that determine the conclusive outcome of how we function on the external. So in the subsequent writings, we would be dealing with how to detect when an argument or a statement of fact is not sound. And we would make it as simple and interesting as possible. On the cause of this writing we have used the terminology ‘truth’ often, but if we many ask, what is truth? And we leave the reader with this question to must upon until our next segment.




CSN: 63425-2008-05-12

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