Our (il)Logical Fallacies

Save my dog, eat the chicken. No, you cannot eat a horse, but a lowly pig is fine. My religion, my god, my beliefs are fine, yours are the pits. My country, my way. My great grandparents migrated, but you cannot. I can slay the natives, you bow down to us when you come in. Speak my language or else! Save the soon to be extinct walrus so my great-grandkid gets to see it in an aquarium. My bigotry is better than yours. Think my way or think not? Oh, yes, we are a free people.

This seemingly hypocritical way of thinking is but logic gone wrong.

The human mind is rife with inconsistencies. The root cause of which might just be an evolutionary advantage of having ‘preferences’. In countries where the average skin color is lighter, people tan themselves to cancer and where dark is the norm, fairness creams rule the roost, perhaps as a way of standing out and attracting better mates. While we publicly espouse equality, we secretly harbor notions of superiority.  Prejudices can be harmless unless of course they morph into mass hysteria.

Apart from the fact that such logical fallacies cause much human angst, and even war, they also cause the human mind to get stuck on a discordant note in their beliefs. We each have our plateau. We take our train of thoughts so far and then, stop. As the human mind evolved and consciousness started peeking out from underneath the layers, awareness dawned. And with awareness came curiosity. Curiosity not just of how this world works, but why.

Science evolved. Experiments came up with amazing discoveries or proofs of discoveries every once in a while, adding to our repertoire of knowledge.  Technology evolved. And with that, came a whole new way of thinking. We started to channel our collective thinking force into inventing the next smart apparatus that would make life easier, or provide better entertainment.

The minds that brooded over technicalities of logic started brooding over the technicalities of a smarter car. The curious minds that shaped the birth of philosophies were put to use to design the next solar panel. For all external appearances, life changed dramatically, but the life of the mind – not so much.

How far have we really come, form our earliest thinking days? Not far, not far at all. Our lifestyles dictate that introspective thinking take a back seat to applied thinking. Of what use is it to brood over the meaning of life when brooding over the next political hopeful in an syndicated column can fund your next meal and possibly car?

What we really need is introspection and involution. We have collectively decided that philosophical brooding is best left to feudal lords with trust funds and the best minds should be applied, well, to so called applied science. How then, will we ever solve this puzzle that we call life?  After all,  it took experimental physicists over a 100 years to ‘prove’ with their tools, what Einstein’s brain churned out, with his “thought experiments”. We need to get out of our comfort zone and rethink the universe we live in and rethink our very existence. Pure and simple thinking, the fountainhead of knowledge is as yet too underrated, as a stand alone tool, to decipher the world.

Think.

 

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