People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:56 am UTC

yurell wrote:All elephants are pink. <- Bad premise
Nelly is an elephant. <- Observation
Therefore, Nelly is pink. <- Proper application of logic


But I can logically refute the first premise. This isn't a proper application of logic because its based on false premises, premises that we know to be false. What is an example of an objectively false conclusion that can be reached via proper, sound application of logic and observation.

Lucrece wrote:I think he's also underestimating the use of logic as a form of standardized dialogue akin to universal units of measurement. Even if it doesn't lend itself as an effective vehicle for reaching truth or helping others to do so, it still has the potential to make communication easier.

I suppose this is true, but communication ultimately doesn't do much if we can't use it to determine the truth.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Shivahn » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:08 am UTC

You can't logically refute it without bringing in your own premises, which in any non-trivial case the people you're debating with are going to disagree with.

Remember that most people you're arguing with see exactly what you see: some other person who's got bad premises and just doesn't realize it, and if I logic enough at them using MY premises, which are correct, they'll change their minds. Everything they say is wrong because it's based on false premises.

There is a bit of a circle there.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby elasto » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:18 am UTC

Meteoric wrote:Moreover though, the problem in this case (and many others) isn't objectively wrong conclusions. "Marriage should not extend to homosexual couples" is a subjectively wrong conclusion.

Yup.

What is an example of an objectively false conclusion that can be reached via proper, sound application of logic and observation.

Objectively true/false stuff isn't typically applicable to real-life disagreements. That's typically stuff that is true based on definitions; eg. given the various definitions of the symbols involved, '1+1=2' can be termed to be 'objectively true'.

The stuff that causes all the problems in the world is stuff that is subjectively true - like 'killing is ok in situation X' - stuff that is really complicated to tease out the evidence for and against - and which always ends up at an unprovable premises / gut instincts like 'the death penalty is moral/immoral'.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:11 am UTC

But I can logically refute the first premise. This isn't a proper application of logic because its based on false premises, premises that we know to be false. What is an example of an objectively false conclusion that can be reached via proper, sound application of logic and observation.

Long story:

Spoiler:
There are 2 ways to view this, depending on what you mean by "proper and sound". If you use those words to mean "only giving correct answers", then tautologically you can't get false conclusions. You will also find that under that definition, there's virutally no "proper and sound application of logic and observation". It's too hard. Perfect logic is too brittle, too sensitive to be useful in nearly all of the world.

There's a reason that logic as a field of work is so tied up with computers: computers are artificial creations where, through very hard work, people have created little domains where hard logic works most of the time. And even there, logic is nowadays a minor tool. Good programming is rarely about scraping the last scraps out of de Morgan's law, but about clearly written code, teamwork, good management of project scope and risks and time, good communication with customers and users, identifying their main needs, and lots of others things where logic plays a minor role.

So you have to look at a weaker form of "proper and sound". More like "as good as reasonably achievably". And then you'll find that proper and sound reasoning can easily lead you astray.

An example from my work: fluid behaviour. That's almost a best-case scenario if you want to use logic to give you answers about the world.

The fundamental premises here are descriptions of a geometry , combined with mathematical descriptions of fluid behaviour. The geometry can be described as precise as you could care about. The formulas are based on very basic assumptions about the world that are experimentally verifiable. They turn out to be very accurate, as long as you stay within certain known bounds.

Now we should be golden, right? Reliable, undisputed premises, cast into mathematical forms that can worked on by logic alone, and usually we have clear questions that we like to see answered. No ethics involved, no fundamental value judgements. All we have to do is manipulate the formulas, use computers when needed, and get an answer.

On top of that, there has been over a century of intense thought on how to do this. Many brilliant people were involved, and there was effectively unlimited funding by major industries and militaries. After all that, it's still an everyday occurence that different people use the exact same methods and tools to approach the exact same problem and come up with different answers, all of them wrong. And you look at your screen, say "this is the best we can do, but we can't trust it", and and you put in a 5-fold safety factor to deal with that.
tl;dr: Perfect logical reasoning is usually unachievable. The best reasoning is often wrong, even in domains of inquiry where the best-known style of reasoning closely approximates logical reasoning. Next up: logical derivation of gay marriage. How hard can it be?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Jplus » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:59 pm UTC

Zcorp wrote:
Jplus wrote:Actually we do teach (logical) reasoning en masse, at least in the richer parts of the world. From primary school onwards, we challenge and instruct our children to use reasoning to solve all kinds of tasks.
No, in general we (the american educational establishment) train students to solve specific problems. No non-post secondary public system requires nor even really advocates taking a class in reasoning, we have all but thrown out classical trivium in favor of training components of an economy. We request that students solve problems, pull important pieces of text, understand content within text (something you just demonstrated a failure in doing), do algebra and learn of the knowledge previous generations have discovered. But those have very few similarities with formal study in reason.
You are right that we don't teach reason explicitly (which I didn't mean to suggest anyway), but note that most of the concrete tasks that we train our children to do can be solved with reason. Still, in most children the only effect is that they learn to do the tasks and not to do reasoning in general. Perhaps we're not encouraging them enough to make the abstraction, but at least what I said up to that point supports the notion that (most) humans are not "naturally inclined" to use reason.

Zcorp wrote:
I understand why you don't like to put it that way: we have a social taboo on anything that may suggest that some people are significantly more intelligent than others. Unfortunately the taboo drives us away from reality. It causes us to expect normal people to behave as if they can apply highly sophisticated reasoning schemes such as logic. That's just as unfair as expecting every normal person to be able to write a good essay or to be able to lift a 200 kg barbell. We really have to come to terms with the fact that systematic reasoning is not a normal skill, because as long as we don't we will be putting unreasonable expectations on normal people as well trivializing the abilities of those who can actually do it.
You are equating intelligence to logic syllogisms.
No, I'm anticipating the possibility that other people will do so. Saying that some people have some kind of cognitive capability while others do not always causes the audience to think that you find those people more intelligent. Which is not what's being said; who is to judge how a syllogism master compares to a chess master with regard to intelligence?
(The problem is probably exactly that we're using "intelligence" as some kind of catch-all term for cognitive abilities, leading us to the false impression that it is a onedimensional feature.)
Zcorp wrote:Which shows no understanding of what is technically meant by intelligence. I've not once stated that there is not variance within in intelligence, so you certainly do not understand why I don't like it stated that way. Maybe you yourself should look up something that is more basic than syllogisms. Try Red Herrings.
I have claimed that properly solving syllogisms is a rare ability, just like writing good essays or lifting a 200 kg barbell. I linked to a paper where the test subjects were graduate students and which seems to support my claim, but of course I might still be wrong. However, I don't see why you have to be so upset by it. I can't help but think that some kind of taboo must be at play.

Zcorp wrote:Common Folk can't learn to read either right? They just don't have the breeding. Its all nature.
False comparison. This seems to be a red herring that is distracting you.

@sourmìlk: you are so utterly stubborn that it's almost amusing. Chew on this one, it's one of my favourites:
Robert A. Adams - Calculus, a complete course wrote:Let N be the largest positive integer.
Since 1 is a positive integer, we must have N >= 1.
Since N2 is a positive integer, it cannot exceed the largest positive integer.
Therefore, N2 <= N and so N2 - N <= 0.
Thus, N(N - 1) <= 0 and we must have N - 1 <= 0.
Therefore, N <= to 1.
We also know that N is greater than or equal to 1; therefore N = 1.
Therefore, 1 is the largest positive integer.

Spoiler:
The only "error" here is the assumption that there is a largest integer. Al the logic that follows is sound and correct. There is no way to prove empirically or by reason that the assumption is wrong; it's only "wrong" because the set of integral numbers is infinite by definition.

In this case you can "reverse" the argument by adding another premise: there is an integer larger than 1. In that case the proof leads to contradiction, which you can use to discard either of the premises or both. If you want to draw a final conclusion as to whether 1 is the largest integer or not, you'll have no choice but to take some mathematical axioms for granted. An axiom is nothing more than an agreement that mathematicians make because it seems to make sense. Doesn't that remind you of subjective value judgements?

Now I recall something I was told in a mathematics course. The word "mathematics" means so much as "knowledge study". Mathematics is, ultimately, about what you can know. And mathematics is telling us that you can derive no conclusions without first choosing some unprovable axioms.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby drash » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:34 pm UTC

Also, the premises behind the article seem suspect. The gay rights movement wasn't pushing the "emotional appeal" angle until 2008? Really?

For about thirty-five years now, the gay rights movement has been taking advantage of a virtuous cycle. When a gay person comes out of the closet, people around the realize that the political debate has an impact on real human beings with meaningful relationships (as opposed to the Godless Secularists trying to Destroy America). This causes them to frame pro-gay political stances as a civil rights issue, rather than as a moral checklist. The more of these people there are, the easier it becomes for other gay people to come out. Rinse and repeat.

That is at least nine-tenths emotional appeal; there's no real logical difference between "gay people shouldn't have the right to marry" and "my son shouldn't have the right to marry," but gosh it's been effective. Yes, the pace of that change has accelerated recently, but it's definitely not because gay people suddenly started trying to convince Average Joe that they are, actually in love. It's probably got more to do with the fact that an evenly split (or pro-gay leaning) population will let pro-gay media representations turn a profit, so the love that was previously visible has a chance to reach a wider audience.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:43 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:You can't logically refute it without bringing in your own premises, which in any non-trivial case the people you're debating with are going to disagree with.

Remember that most people you're arguing with see exactly what you see: some other person who's got bad premises and just doesn't realize it, and if I logic enough at them using MY premises, which are correct, they'll change their minds. Everything they say is wrong because it's based on false premises.

There is a bit of a circle there.


If their premises are false, you can logically prove that to be the case. I recognize that people are stubborn and often won't see the problem with their premises if shown them: I of all people should know about stubbornness. But that's beside my point, which is that a proper application of logic will necessarily lead to correct conclusions, not that humans are good at proper applications of logic.

elasto wrote:
Meteoric wrote:Moreover though, the problem in this case (and many others) isn't objectively wrong conclusions. "Marriage should not extend to homosexual couples" is a subjectively wrong conclusion.

Yup.

Ethics is kind of weird. Usually there is some basic premise that you can agree upon with the other person, and then arguments become either logically consistent or not. So in that way, logic leads to correct conclusions given the agreed upon premise, which is all that either party would theoretically want.

Objectively true/false stuff isn't typically applicable to real-life disagreements. That's typically stuff that is true based on definitions; eg. given the various definitions of the symbols involved, '1+1=2' can be termed to be 'objectively true'.

You ever argued with a creationist?

Jplus wrote:Chew on this one, it's one of my favourites:
Robert A. Adams - Calculus, a complete course wrote:Let N be the largest positive integer.
Since 1 is a positive integer, we must have N >= 1.
Since N2 is a positive integer, it cannot exceed the largest positive integer.
Therefore, N2 <= N and so N2 - N <= 0.
Thus, N(N - 1) <= 0 and we must have N - 1 <= 0.
Therefore, N <= to 1.
We also know that N is greater than or equal to 1; therefore N = 1.
Therefore, 1 is the largest positive integer.

Spoiler:
The only "error" here is the assumption that there is a largest integer. Al the logic that follows is sound and correct. There is no way to prove empirically or by reason that the assumption is wrong; it's only "wrong" because the set of integral numbers is infinite by definition.

In this case you can "reverse" the argument by adding another premise: there is an integer larger than 1. In that case the proof leads to contradiction, which you can use to discard either of the premises or both. If you want to draw a final conclusion as to whether 1 is the largest integer or not, you'll have no choice but to take some mathematical axioms for granted. An axiom is nothing more than an agreement that mathematicians make because it seems to make sense. Doesn't that remind you of subjective value judgements?

Now I recall something I was told in a mathematics course. The word "mathematics" means so much as "knowledge study". Mathematics is, ultimately, about what you can know. And mathematics is telling us that you can derive no conclusions without first choosing some unprovable axioms.

I don't see why logic necessitating axioms invalidates my point. I know that certain axioms need to be assumed, like that laws are consistent throughout the universe, etc. That doesn't mean that a proper application of logic ever leads to incorrect conclusions. Not all premises are axioms that logic relies on, so people can't simply assert assumptions and then say "look, I was correct via valid logic!" because the assumptions are wrong or unsubstantiated by evidence. Allowing arbitrary premises to be accepted necessarily as true is not a proper application of logic.

Seriously, I don't get what all this stuff about false premises is. Logic allows the disproving of false premises.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby induction » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

I have to agree that formal logic is not focused on in American education (in my experience at least), except in computer science classes. Even when it was necessary for hard science classes, it was just assumed that we knew the basic truth tables. They were not taught explicitly.

Symbolic logic was taught as part of the undergraduate philosophy program and was used mainly as a weed-out class. The required upper-division logic class always started out with 50+ students. After the first exam, all but four or five would drop the class and switch majors. Once the remaining students passed the class, they were free to completely ignore logic for the rest of their philosophy careers.


sourmilk wrote:communication ultimately doesn't do much if we can't use it to determine the truth.

:shock:
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:49 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:But that's beside my point, which is that a proper application of logic will necessarily lead to correct conclusions,

Like I said just above (really, read it): you're abusing a ambiguity in words like "proper". If it means "flawless", then a proper application of logic is impossible for nearly every question of interest. If it just means "as good as it gets", than it easily leads to wrong conclusions.

You're trying to have it both ways. You want to apply a formalistic style of reasoning to very question of interest and you want to get the ironclad chains of proof that such formalistic style can achieve in the limited domain of mathematics. It's like complaining that people use bulk carriers while formula-1 cars are so much faster.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:But that's beside my point, which is that a proper application of logic will necessarily lead to correct conclusions,

Like I said just above (really, read it): you're abusing a ambiguity in words like "proper". If it means "flawless", then a proper application of logic is impossible for nearly every question of interest. If it just means "as good as it gets", than it easily leads to wrong conclusions.

By proper, I mean using valid logic on true premises. The truth of premises can be verified by application of valid logic to observation. The only assumptions that should be made are those necessary for logic to work (simply as we need a definition of "correct", that being a conclusion logically sound based on true premises.) So yeah, it's sort of tautological, meaning I really don't understand the disagreement here. "Correctness" is defined by logic, so it is logically impossible for a valid application of logic on true premises to lead to incorrect conclusions. That's why we have to use logic and observation to come to correct conclusions, because correct is defined by logic and observation. Not by what is more appealing emotionally.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:11 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That's why we have to use logic and observation to come to correct conclusions, because correct is defined by logic and observation. Not by what is more appealing emotionally.
But if you're making any kind of argument you have to start with some axioms which are not based on any prior observations or reasoning. If the realm of discussion is something like mathematics, without a lot of emotional weight attached, people are generally willing to accept one another's axioms for the sake of argument, as it were. But with ethics, folks are not so wiling to grant you something they viscerally disagree with. Nor are they likely to accept claims they suspect will lead you to conclusions they don't like.

And disagreeing with your a priori axioms is not a sign that someone else is using bad logic, because those axioms are not based on prior logic.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:20 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:That's why we have to use logic and observation to come to correct conclusions, because correct is defined by logic and observation. Not by what is more appealing emotionally.
But if you're making any kind of argument you have to start with some axioms which are not based on any prior observations or reasoning. If the realm of discussion is something like mathematics, without a lot of emotional weight attached, people are generally willing to accept one another's axioms for the sake of argument, as it were. But with ethics, folks are not so wiling to grant you something they viscerally disagree with. Nor are they likely to accept claims they suspect will lead you to conclusions they don't like.

And disagreeing with your a priori axioms is not a sign that someone else is using bad logic, because those axioms are not based on prior logic.


So, usually I find that people's base ethical axioms tend to be similar. It's usually something along the lines that ethics should generally benefit people, making them happier and healthier and whatnot. In the cases where they're completely different, you can usually argue that an axiom is an impractical one to hold.

With ethics the point is arguably moot as there isn't a totally "objective" truth because there are usually axioms you have to pick. But rarely have I encountered a bigot that takes "gay marriage is bad" or even "the Bible is true" as axiomatic, but rather something that needs to be substantiated by logic or evidence.

Anyways, in areas of objective truth, logic by definition leads to correct conclusions, and so it bothers me that people are more swayed by emotional appeals because that will lead to objectively false conclusions.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:29 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:In the cases where they're completely different, you can usually argue that an axiom is an impractical one to hold.
Given an account of practicality that is based on your own axioms, and bolstered with your additional axiom that this kind of practicality is to be desired.

Anyways, in areas of objective truth, logic by definition leads to correct conclusions, and so it bothers me that people are more swayed by emotional appeals because that will lead to objectively false conclusions.
It will likewise lead to false conclusions if you start not with incorrect premises but merely incomplete ones. And since no one is omniscient, we pretty much always start with incomplete information.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:In the cases where they're completely different, you can usually argue that an axiom is an impractical one to hold.
Given an account of practicality that is based on your own axioms, and bolstered with your additional axiom that this kind of practicality is to be desired.

Yeah, but those are agreed upon even more than the base ethical axioms. There is almost always some common ground.

Anyways, in areas of objective truth, logic by definition leads to correct conclusions, and so it bothers me that people are more swayed by emotional appeals because that will lead to objectively false conclusions.
It will likewise lead to false conclusions if you start not with incorrect premises but merely incomplete ones. And since no one is omniscient, we pretty much always start with incomplete information.

How exactly are you defining "incomplete"? Can I have an example?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:50 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gay-marriage-20120304,0,1129155.story

Apparently, trying to provide evidence that gay marriage isn't harmful doesn't work, but a handful of emotional stories can change everything.


That is indeed unsurprising. Humans form opinions based on emotional values instead of reason. An appeal to compassion will carry more weight than an appeal to rational thought. Since marriage equality wins on both rational and emotional grounds, that is not a bad thing. As the story shows, these emotions are not intrinsically religious, discriminatory or harmful.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Meteoric » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:So, usually I find that people's base ethical axioms tend to be similar. <snip>

I've found that the differences in axioms are frequently the entire source of the argument. Abortion is contentious at least partly because pro-lifers tend to hold that personhood is determined by the presence of a soul, not brain function, and they hold it as an axiom that the child is imbued with a soul at the moment of conception. I'm not sure what data or evidence could overturn that axiom, unless maybe you first refute their entire religion, which is harder than winning the original argument in the first place. Or, more relevantly to the topic, gay marriage is contentious because homosexuality is a sin, and we should not as a society tolerate such grievous sin, and if we do, God will turn his back upon our once-great nation. How would you logically or empirically refute that?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

You're asking for examples of incomplete information? Because you can't think of some yourself? How about, when I go to work tomorrow, will traffic around me be busier than normal?

You need a mind-boggling amount of information to do more than guess at the answer of that question. The exact schedules of thousands of people who might be on the road at the same time as me, and which thereon't yet know themselves. Which in turn requires all the factors that might influence those schedules. But that's not enough to get mathematical certainty. A storm might break out, or an earthquake, or a war, or an electronics-destroying solar flare, all of which would certainly affect traffic. Something might happen we didn't think off, and you can't prove you thought of everything.

Even such a simple question requires Laplace's demon to answer if you want to approach it through deductive logic. Everything else requires some amount of induction, saying 'this is how it worked before, we'll guess it works similar this time'.

edit: to get back on topic: lots of people claim that if you allow gay marriage, society will become nasty and degenerate within a few generations. Even if you agree on what would constitute a nasty and degenerate society, you still lack the information and predictive tools to be sure about that empirical claim. Predicting traffic tomorrow is already hard enough.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Shivahn » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:45 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Shivahn wrote:You can't logically refute it without bringing in your own premises, which in any non-trivial case the people you're debating with are going to disagree with.

Remember that most people you're arguing with see exactly what you see: some other person who's got bad premises and just doesn't realize it, and if I logic enough at them using MY premises, which are correct, they'll change their minds. Everything they say is wrong because it's based on false premises.

There is a bit of a circle there.


If their premises are false, you can logically prove that to be the case. I recognize that people are stubborn and often won't see the problem with their premises if shown them: I of all people should know about stubbornness. But that's beside my point, which is that a proper application of logic will necessarily lead to correct conclusions, not that humans are good at proper applications of logic.


This is simply not true. You can argue that, given your set of premises, their premises lead to contradictions. But that's not "logically disproving" them in any useful sense of the term. Truly logically disproving something, as I've mentioned before, means you have to do it within their system.

And you simply can't do that unless they've made egregious errors in premises. Go ahead and try to logically refute "all elephants are pink." You're simply not going to be able to without bringing in more premises, which someone who hasn't heard of an elephant before is going to have no reason to believe.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

Meteoric wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:So, usually I find that people's base ethical axioms tend to be similar. <snip>

I've found that the differences in axioms are frequently the entire source of the argument. Abortion is contentious at least partly because pro-lifers tend to hold that personhood is determined by the presence of a soul, not brain function, and they hold it as an axiom that the child is imbued with a soul at the moment of conception. I'm not sure what data or evidence could overturn that axiom, unless maybe you first refute their entire religion, which is harder than winning the original argument in the first place. Or, more relevantly to the topic, gay marriage is contentious because homosexuality is a sin, and we should not as a society tolerate such grievous sin, and if we do, God will turn his back upon our once-great nation. How would you logically or empirically refute that?


1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

EDIT: additionally, according to the same book that decries homosexuality as a sin (Leviticus), also says that wearing clothing made of two fibers, shaving the hair at your temples, and other equally ludicrous things are all sins, and all should be punished with death. Good thing that the Bible is not the source of the Constitution, eh?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

sourmìlk, what exactly do you mean by "logic"?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby induction » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

5. But God's will (as divinely imparted to me) trumps the constitution
6. Ignore (4).
QED
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

induction wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

5. But God's will (as divinely imparted to me) trumps the constitution
6. Ignore (4).
QED


'God's will' is immaterial (pun intended) to a secular society.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Meteoric » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:30 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Meteoric wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:So, usually I find that people's base ethical axioms tend to be similar. <snip>

I've found that the differences in axioms are frequently the entire source of the argument. Abortion is contentious at least partly because pro-lifers tend to hold that personhood is determined by the presence of a soul, not brain function, and they hold it as an axiom that the child is imbued with a soul at the moment of conception. I'm not sure what data or evidence could overturn that axiom, unless maybe you first refute their entire religion, which is harder than winning the original argument in the first place. Or, more relevantly to the topic, gay marriage is contentious because homosexuality is a sin, and we should not as a society tolerate such grievous sin, and if we do, God will turn his back upon our once-great nation. How would you logically or empirically refute that?


1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

EDIT: additionally, according to the same book that decries homosexuality as a sin (Leviticus), also says that wearing clothing made of two fibers, shaving the hair at your temples, and other equally ludicrous things are all sins, and all should be punished with death. Good thing that the Bible is not the source of the Constitution, eh?

I agree with your argument, but your argument does not overturn the example premises I presented. It just says "here are some other premises that I think are more important." The deeply religious will not necessarily agree that a correct interpretation of constitutional rights is more important than God's will.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:35 pm UTC

Meteoric wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
Meteoric wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:So, usually I find that people's base ethical axioms tend to be similar. <snip>

I've found that the differences in axioms are frequently the entire source of the argument. Abortion is contentious at least partly because pro-lifers tend to hold that personhood is determined by the presence of a soul, not brain function, and they hold it as an axiom that the child is imbued with a soul at the moment of conception. I'm not sure what data or evidence could overturn that axiom, unless maybe you first refute their entire religion, which is harder than winning the original argument in the first place. Or, more relevantly to the topic, gay marriage is contentious because homosexuality is a sin, and we should not as a society tolerate such grievous sin, and if we do, God will turn his back upon our once-great nation. How would you logically or empirically refute that?


1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

EDIT: additionally, according to the same book that decries homosexuality as a sin (Leviticus), also says that wearing clothing made of two fibers, shaving the hair at your temples, and other equally ludicrous things are all sins, and all should be punished with death. Good thing that the Bible is not the source of the Constitution, eh?

I agree with your argument, but your argument does not overturn the example premises I presented. It just says "here are some other premises that I think are more important." The deeply religious will not necessarily agree that a correct interpretation of constitutional rights is more important than God's will.


As i said to induction, that is immaterial, due to the First Amendment. Marriage as defined by the United States is a legal status. Not allowing everyone equal protection under the law is against the Constitution. Ergo, everyone must be allowed to be married (as long as they are able to enter into a legal contract - its stupid that I have to continuously include this so that someone doesn't come up with the canard about pedophilia or bestiality, but there it is). Your religious civil rights are not an excuse to trample someone else's civil rights.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

So, gay marriage was always hidden in the US constitution? I think there was a movie with Nicolas Cage about that.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby induction » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
induction wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

5. But God's will (as divinely imparted to me) trumps the constitution
6. Ignore (4).
QED


'God's will' is immaterial (pun intended) to a secular society.


Being destroyed by God's wrath for rampant iniquity is relevant to society, secular or not.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Shivahn » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:39 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:So, gay marriage was always hidden in the US constitution? I think there was a movie with Nicolas Cage about that.


The constitution should be like a treasure map with pieces missing, and there's like, dragons on the way so you have to learn about teamwork and friendship to get there, and when you get to the end, the last amendment reads "Be totally awesome to each other."

I think that is a good idea. I wonder why the founders didn't think of it.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Lucrece » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

induction wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:
induction wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:1. Sin is a religious concept, not legal. Ditto 'God' (for any value of 'God').
2. Marriage, within a secular nation, is a legal status, with certain benefits not given to those who are not married (tax breaks, power of attorney, etc), which is immaterial to whether or not one is religiously married (see also: Common-Law marriage).
3. Every person within the US is guaranteed Equal Protection under the law (cf. 1st, 10th, 14th Amendments).
4. Not allowing everyone who wants to, within legal limits of who is able to enter into a legal contract (e.g. consenting adults), get married, violates their civil rights as guaranteed under (3). QED.

5. But God's will (as divinely imparted to me) trumps the constitution
6. Ignore (4).
QED


'God's will' is immaterial (pun intended) to a secular society.


Being destroyed by God's wrath for rampant iniquity is relevant to society, secular or not.


And that list is missing

7. The politicians who get elected by people who hold 5-6 may not believe in that, but.
8. Power and connections are everything to increasing and maintaining wealth, so you don't want to piss off voters by rebuffing their religious based bigotry.

I sometimes think people don't understand just how vast this country is, and that a metropolis/suburban life in one state is hardly representative of the country as a whole. In many areas the Constitution is just a revered but unread document that goes hand in hand with the Bible as a symbol of identity regardless of what the actual contents of the text are, especially if they contradict the Bible -- which the community leaders (pastors) will rationalize away with the best of sophistry.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:52 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Zamfir wrote:So, gay marriage was always hidden in the US constitution? I think there was a movie with Nicolas Cage about that.


The constitution should be like a treasure map with pieces missing, and there's like, dragons on the way so you have to learn about teamwork and friendship to get there, and when you get to the end, the last amendment reads "Be totally awesome to each other."

I think that is a good idea. I wonder why the founders didn't think of it.


I think this would be true, if Keanu Reeves wrote the Constitution.


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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:02 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Zamfir wrote:So, gay marriage was always hidden in the US constitution? I think there was a movie with Nicolas Cage about that.


The constitution should be like a treasure map with pieces missing, and there's like, dragons on the way so you have to learn about teamwork and friendship to get there, and when you get to the end, the last amendment reads "Be totally awesome to each other."

I think that is a good idea. I wonder why the founders didn't think of it.


But who says they didn't? Perhaps they sent America on a centuries-long quest to learn the true meaning of the love, and you just haven't finished yet. And then you will realize that the constitution was just a ladder, so to speak, that must be thrown away once you have climbed it.

EDIT: Ooo, and at the end you have to throw the constitution in Mount Helens, and the movie will be named National Precious
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Yeah, but those are agreed upon even more than the base ethical axioms.
No they most certainly aren't. Someone who holds unrealistic expectations about how people (should) behave doesn't care about practicality the way you claim to.

And you're one such person, since you seem to value complete logical rigor over the much more practical concerns of how to make decisions without complete information or unlimited thinking time.

How exactly are you defining "incomplete"? Can I have an example?
Um... seriously? I am defining "incomplete" as "not complete". And I am considering completeness in the sense of information relevant to the particular decision you're trying to make. And I was thinking this would be an uncontroversial claim given that many people make decisions based on likely consequences, despite the fact that no one can predict the future with 100% certainty.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:27 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:But who says they didn't? Perhaps they sent America on a centuries-long quest to learn the true meaning of the love, and you just haven't finished yet. And then you will realize that the constitution was just a ladder, so to speak, that must be thrown away once you have climbed it.

Is that the part where we find out we're actually still a British colony, just nobody has had the heart to tell us?
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:37 pm UTC

Were you under the impression that the true meaning of love involves being a colony of Britain? There's no gay marriage there.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:Were you under the impression that the true meaning of love involves being a colony of Britain? There's no gay marriage there.


We all know what true love looks like:

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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:40 pm UTC

I was going with the part about throwing away the constitution afterwards. If we get rid of it after we find the true meaning of love, I figured the real document we replace it with would be some older document officiating that we never actually stopped being a colony.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Dauric » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:
Zamfir wrote:So, gay marriage was always hidden in the US constitution? I think there was a movie with Nicolas Cage about that.


The constitution should be like a treasure map with pieces missing, and there's like, dragons on the way so you have to learn about teamwork and friendship to get there, and when you get to the end, the last amendment reads "Be totally awesome to each other."

I think that is a good idea. I wonder why the founders didn't think of it.


Unfortunately before you get to that end is the grinding and leveling and the incessant battle-music and the inane side-quests that make you want to stab the quest giver for wasting your time and the impossible and utterly unrelated mini-games based on a twisted version of Dance Dance Revolution and ....

Zamfir wrote:EDIT: Ooo, and at the end you have to throw the constitution in Mount Helens, and the movie will be named National Precious


If the quest is literary then that might not be a bad thing as long as we get Peter Jackson to be the director. If the quest is a RPG the movie is likely to be directed by Uwe Boll.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Zamfir wrote:EDIT: Ooo, and at the end you have to throw the constitution in Mount Helens, and the movie will be named National Precious


If the quest is literary then that might not be a bad thing as long as we get Peter Jackson to be the director. If the quest is a RPG the movie is likely to be directed by Uwe Boll.


hmm...I was going to say, "As long as it's not Micheal Bay," but then stopped myself - Worst case scenario, I'm sure we can all agree, is the two of them being co-directors.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby maybeagnostic » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:
Dauric wrote:
Zamfir wrote:EDIT: Ooo, and at the end you have to throw the constitution in Mount Helens, and the movie will be named National Precious


If the quest is literary then that might not be a bad thing as long as we get Peter Jackson to be the director. If the quest is a RPG the movie is likely to be directed by Uwe Boll.


hmm...I was going to say, "As long as it's not Micheal Bay," but then stopped myself - Worst case scenario, I'm sure we can all agree, is the two of them being co-directors.

I'm not so sure. Michael Bay only gets one thing right (explosions) but Uwe Boll gets nothing right so the combination of the two of them will be at worst as bad as Uwe Boll.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby Zamfir » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

I was going with the part about throwing away the constitution afterwards. If we get rid of it after we find the true meaning of love, I figured the real document we replace it with would be some older document officiating that we never actually stopped being a colony.

Well, of course that's what you think. You first have to go through the adventure, then you will be enlightened and know what to do. Like how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie only know they love each other after they shoot with missle launchers on each other and destroy their house, and not before.

Until that day, the constitution is the crutch that pushes you forward. If you throw away the crutch now, all you can do is look for another. Obama wants to try Sharia law, for example.
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Re: People choose emotions over reason, no one is surprised

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:04 pm UTC

If there is insufficient information to draw a correct conclusion, then application of logic on true premises will necessarily lead to the best conclusion, or at worst show that we have insufficient information to draw a conclusion. Guys, this is a matter of definitions: things are only correct because they are logically proven to be correct. Either logic necessarily leads to correct conclusions or truth is unknowable.

And again, I recognize that people often assume false premises, but they can usually be shown to be false.

As for abortion as a contradiction to the idea that we hold similar ethical axioms: usually the argument that fetuses have souls isn't taken as axiomatic, its based on something the Bible says or perceived scientific evidence, and is ultimately refutable.
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