Well, no. We can appreciate logic, even if we have no schooling in it. Plato showed how to do this in the Meno. Education, to accumulate facts and understanding is good, but we have that on tap, surely?

There are some people, perhaps we are they, who have their set positions, and you may bury them under as many facts and as much science as you wish, they will still claim that the cosmos was made in six days and Trump is a genius or whatever.

Hans Rosling, in his book Factfulness, demonstrates that most people are like this on many things.

To win a debate is not a matter of picking up points on logic and oratory. It involves bringing a participant - it may be ourself - to the point where one is forced to acknowledge that two cherished views are at the same time believed to be true, but contradict one another.

For example, say it's time to buy a new car. You read up on all the various models and their features, and select the one that you need.

But now you have to sell the old one. You write an ad to make it sound attractive, and a reasonable person would ask why you are getting rid of what sounds like an excellent vehicle!

We are all of us, simply by being human, creatures of logic and reason. It's simply that most of the time, we hide this from ourselves.

Yes, I know that second slice of cheesecake will do me no good at all, but yum!

Britni

Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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