It never ceases to amaze me how little people understand and respect logic. (If you’re imagining reasonable midgets and philosophical dwarves, you read that sentence wrong.) It seems to me the average person’s attitude toward logic goes something like this…
God: Do you want to communicate with people?
God: Okay, then you’ll need to understand language. It’s a set of rules for communicating ideas through words and sounds.
God: Do you want to measure stuff?
God: Okay, then you’ll need to understand math. It’s a set of rules for representing quantities as numbers and determining how those numbers interact with each other.
Person: Got it.
God: Do you want to know what is true and what is false?
Person: Of course.
God: Okay, then you’ll need to understand logic. It’s a set of rules for determining whether something is true or false.
God: What’s wrong?
Person: I don’t know. We have language and math…seems like that should be enough.
God: I can assure you, that will not be enough. That will lead to a world where everyone is communicating false ideas and obsessing over meaningless numbers. I strongly encourage you to accept the rules of logic. Otherwise, everyone will suffer.
Person: Yeah well that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
Really though, why would formal logic and the principles of sound reasoning not be ingrained in our minds as soon as possible and throughout our academic lives? There are only 3 possible explanations for this:
Because the people who control our education system are too stupid to understand how important logic is.
Because the people who control our education system are smart enough to understand how important logic is, but they intentionally suppress it to keep the masses stupid and controllable.
An explanation I can’t imagine.
Frankly, I’m not comfortable with any of these options.
But honestly, how much of the anger and violence in today’s world would naturally disappear if we simply taught our children how to think for themselves and establish their personal beliefs from experience and logic (rather than blind acceptance of beliefs from family, community, state, etc.)?
Here we’ve invented computers–a machine that can perfectly determine truth and make optimal decisions to achieve any desired outcome–and instead of leveraging this technology to evolve human thinking, we’re doing just the opposite. We’re building tools that enable people to communicate faster and manage numbers easier, but we’re still missing the logic. We’re still a bunch of irrational animals trying to control each other and assert our beliefs on others–we’re just doing it much more efficiently now. We’re still killing anyone who disagrees with us, only now we’re using smart weapons.
It’s really sad, actually.
Imagine explaining to someone like Socrates or Plato that one day we’ll invent a machine that can solve any conceivable problem…and we’ll use it to argue and kill each other.
I hope I’m alive when we achieve real AI. From what I hear, it’ll allow us to argue and kill each other at levels our human brains can’t even imagine.