Logic and the way we think

Anyone who’s ever watched a John Grisham-based movie or watched “The Good Wife” knows that “relevance” is an objection brought up to ascertain whether a legal argument adds value to the particulars of a case being examined or is being presented purely as a distraction.

It is, essentially, an ontological approach to argumentation that seeks to establish a higher truth through a classical logic process. The idea is that we establish beyond reasonable doubt the truth value of a particular truth or falsehood so it can be considered in relation to the case being examined.

We are fascinated by legal thrillers precisely because we sense the potential of the rigorous examination of language, evidence and the interrelational play of all this to establish a reality that we can all agree with. In that sense contradictory arguments are regarded as being false and the Newtonian world of classical mechanics with its implied determinism briefly reasserts itself.

We like this. It appeals to our native sense of order. It affirms for us that we have nothing to fear because as long as we exercise our cognition and apply logic, contradictions are eliminated and uncertainty is banished. Unfortunately it is not quite like this.

The physical world is not quite as deterministic as we’d like it to be and values such as “True” and “False” may be only a subset of a greater, more complex reality that only now do we begin to contemplate.

Why now, you may ask?

Because it is only now that we have the means to better understand the true magnitude of the sentence “The world is complex.” And complexity surfaces everywhere. When we reduce everything to data we can capture we realize that everything is a system and some systems present an inherent level of difficulty that our current technology is not able to solve. Surprisingly, it becomes obvious, our brains can.

But that is just the problem. By relying on perception we walk a tightrope between truth and lies, reality and delusion, the real and the fabricated. In this brave new world that is emerging logic is relevant and the view we have of the world is truly about to change.

When complexity is the norm the tools we use to tackle it, reduce it into simpler truths and tasks we can grasp and tackle action that delivers the outcomes we seek requires a new set of modalities.

Our brains are very old but that doesn’t mean that they are not capable. This world, with all its complexity, is our construct. It is our world. We each have a right to be in it. We are key to its evolution and direction. We are responsible for the future we are heading towards. More than that, because the universe is not deterministic the unknown future we head towards is not there to be ‘discovered’ by us, but a place to be determined reached by a direction we set here and now through our choices and actions.

No one likes responsibility. It’s a lot of hard work. It raises the possibility that we might fail. It increases the fear of what we may encounter as we do what is being asked of us to do. Yet here we are. In the 21st century we can no longer pass that responsibility to institutions, countries, religions and all their schemas and expect that we shall be satisfied as individuals or that the future we shall reach will be the one we seek.

The time to step up, in any way or form we can, is now.

I know you’ve taken full responsibility of your actions this week while shopping which is why I am certain that your coffee pot is not empty and that at least some form of donut, croissant, cookies or chocolate cake is within easy reach. Have an awesome Sunday, wherever you are.