Monday, July 03, 2017


There are many definitions of the word “logic,” but I prefer this one: “the quality of being justifiable by reason.” The problem with that one, though, is that the word “reason” has a number of definitions of its own.

Like all things not scientifically provable—truth, for example—logic tends to be relative. What is logical and reasonable to me may not be logical and reasonable to you.

I’ve always thought of myself as a logical person. While the world is made up of far more shades of gray than solid whites or blacks, I use a simple rule when it comes to my own logic; if anything raises a question in my mind, I go with the answer that makes the most sense to me.

It’s been a great and constant source of frustration for me that while I know that mathematics is based entirely on logic, I have never been able to get beyond the “if Johnny has three apples and gives Billy two” stage. Try as I might, I just don’t get it. The only class I ever failed in my four years of college was geometry (or was it algebra? One of those signs-and-symbols things).

Instruction manuals are another form of logic which totally, completely escape me. I try. Really, I do. I’ll buy something requiring “some assembly,” carefully take out the manual, set it and the 4,792 various pieces out in front me. I get perhaps as far as the period in the second sentence in the manual, and I’m totally lost. Where’s my logic when I need it?

I really don’t have trouble with those things ruled by the laws of science. I may not understand them, but I accept them, if only because I don’t feel competent to question them in depth. But it is those things dealing with the human mind and human reactions and responses where the problem comes in. I am constantly dumbfounded by the ease with which most people simply ignore or walk around bottomless chasms of illogic as though they weren’t there.

Religion is only one example of how willing people seem to be to accept the most ridiculous premises without the slightest question. Perhaps it is because logic requires a certain amount of question-asking, which in turn requires thought. Much easier to simply accept whatever you’re told. Even the most cursory glance at a newspaper, magazine, or television program demonstrates that when it comes logic, the most basic rules of common sense simply do not apply.

Just as The Golden Rule is given universal lip service and is generally universally ignored, so is the totally logical caveat, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Whether it is naivety or greed or a combination of the two, in almost any conflict involving them on the one side and logic on the other, don’t put your money on logic.

While I’d love to take the high ground and claim that my life operates entirely on logic, I’m afraid I can’t do it. A certain amount of illogic seems to just be a part of the human character. It’s the overwhelming disproportion of illogic to logic that worries me.

Did that make any sense?
This blog is from Dorien's ebook of blogs, Short Circuits, available from and; it's also available as an audio book from Amazon/ You can find information about Dorien's books at his web site: 

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