Psychology

Thinking Logically



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Logic and reason and rationality have their place but many scientists will tell you that the majority of decisions are based on emotions. When faced with choices in life especially those which have far-reaching consequences over the long haul we often try to justify our actions by rationalization such as "this really was for the best" or "I really didn't have any other choice." As much as we can appreciate reason and logical deduction it is important to understand that arriving at the perfect answer or way would require a knowledge of all the relevant facts or issues at the time of making a decision and this is impossible to do. On top of this, people and places and circumstances are always changing - you simply cannot know what others will do next or why . This means that even the most brilliant mind, courageous spirit who holds the most concrete evidence and facts to support their position can fall short because they simply cannot contain it all, process it all or follow it all. Life was not meant to be lived in a straight line without diversion or hope or challenge.

Does this mean that reason and logic cannot be counted upon as trustworthy? That depends upon the type of information being scrutinized. Math and logical concepts such as geometry usually rest upon basic premises which are consistent and sound. Those with the gift of discernment like courtroom judges who have honed their skill over many years of experience can spot a lie or falsehood immediately. By weighing the facts and how they are presented, they can see right off what makes sense and what does not. People are not inanimate objects however who respond to the world around them like computers. Allowances need to be made for the motives, intentions or ignorance upon which decisions were based. You cannot always rely on folks being forthcoming regarding their frame of minds especially when they truly do not even understand it themselves.

The best time to not think logically is when creating or appreciating the world of art and music. Predictability may actually hamper the enjoyment. Dancers have always entertained us with the unique and unusual movement. Sometimes arbitrary, controversial and contrarian viewpoints in literature and music help us better understand who we are, what we believe or condemn. It is always a good idea to go outside one's comfort zone once in awhile. It helps to define who we are as individuals and what are the actual parameters of our beliefs. What we later will logically and rationally accept. Perhaps we let our emotions get the best of us somewhere along the way.

When faced with life-altering, once-in-a-lifetime choices it is probably best to wade into the waters when the answers are clear and the time is ripe. But we do not always have all the information at hand and sometimes we cannot even reasonably expect to get it or worse are denied access to the information upon which to base a decision due to confidentiality or cost. Courts often refuse to allow prior records to be entered because they might prejudice a jury in a new trial. We simply have to go with our gut, but that does not mean that the decision is based upon a principle holding any less importance. People of faith rely upon God; parents and lovers and friends rely upon mutual trust and intuition. Often a person's history is usually a pretty good indicator of what they will do next, but not always.

Logic works best for solving issues so long as the facts are evident, agreed upon by all and undeniably true. But logic will be absolutely no help to anyone going head-to-head with the victimized, the bought, the silenced or those held in the throes of pure evil. Only charity and love will help in that case and then only if we call those into the conversation.

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