As a site that proclaims to have ‘Answers in Reason’ we have very few articles about what this actually means.
When we speak of reason, we are speaking of the cognitive process of; actively thinking through a topic and coming to conclusions based on all available/known arguments and data.
To summarise Plato, reason is the highest and most powerful human capacity. It allows us to rule over other passions and can direct us towards a virtuous life.
Whilst reason is mostly to do with reasoning, it also is to do with our attempts at being reasonable, approachable and having better conversations with those whether they hold a similar or different position to us.
This article will cover the various types of reasoning, rationality, logic, things that get in the way of reasoning well and advice on having better conversations.
reason, in philosophy, the faculty or process of drawing logical inferences. The term “reason” is also used in several other, narrower senses. Reason is in opposition to sensation, perception, feeling, desire, as the faculty (the existence of which is denied by empiricists) by which fundamental truths are intuitively apprehended.https://www.britannica.com/topic/reason
What we hope to achieve from this process is to be a good reasoner, which in turn leads us closer to holding rational positions. This leads us on to the question, what is rationality?
What is Rationality?
Rationality is, at least in part, reasoning using the rules of logic and probability theory, holding consistent and coherent beliefs, and having no strong, credible evidence against your position.
Another way we could talk about a rational position is a justified position. The things we accept to be true are hopefully justified well.
Something to remember, being rational doesn’t always entail being correct just as being irrational doesn’t entail being incorrect. Rationality speaks to our reasoning, not our correctness.
We’ve done a few articles on rationality so I’ll provide some links if you’re interested in more detail, as what I want to focus on is the reasoning process.
- Beliefs and Rationality – CMT Vol: 10
- To Be or Not To Be (Rational)!? – SciPhi
- Is it rational to form beliefs based on testimony?
- Disgustingly Enjoyable – SciPhi
- Hammering Rationality – SciPhi
- How Rational Are You?: A Nightmare on Reason St.
What is Logic?
I know I want to focus on the reasoning process, but I mentioned rationality was reasoning using the rules of logic, and part of the reasoning process we do is us trying to achieve holding rational positions, so we must briefly describe logic and the rules.
Logic is essentially a system or set of principles underlying the arrangements of elements and the form of logic that relates most closely to day-to-day reasoning is classical logic.
What are the Rules of Classic Logic?
So, there are multiple systems of logic with their own rules but the big 3 in classical logic are:
The law of identity: P is P.
Everything is itself, and not anything else. The P, or Proposition, is not anything other than what it is. It seems ridiculous to phrase it this way but simply put; if P = ‘The light switch is on’ is speaking of a light switch in an on position, and if it is true it means that the light switch is in the on position. This is not speaking of a dimmer switch, or a small dog, just a simple light switch that is on.
The law of non-contradiction: Not (P and not-P).
This is simply saying that the light switch cannot be both on and off, it is a dichotomous proposition, and a simple light switch has two modes, it can be either on or off, but never both.
If we say P is false, that is the same as saying not-P is true.
Similarly, if we say we don’t believe the light switch is on, we might assume based on the logic of the proposition that we believe the light switch is off, however, beliefs can be a little more complicated than that.
The law of the excluded middle: Either P or not-P.
With a dichotomous proposition, it can only be P or not P, that is to say, the switch can be on or off. It cannot be both or neither. There is no third answer. I explain some misconceptions on the law of excluded middle in this post: Different Types of Not Believing & The Law of Excluded Middle.
Now, this is a bit different when we are speaking of attitudes, because someone could believe the switch to be on, off, or be unsure and not believe either P or not-P, but the reality would still be that P can only be P or not-P.
I mentioned above about beliefs can be a bit more complicated than believing something true (Bp) and believing something false (B¬p).
People often say ‘I don’t believe P’ (¬Bp) when what they mean is I don’t know, or I suspend judgment in P and not P. They essentially lack belief both ways. (¬Bp ^ ¬B¬p).
If they applied the rules of logic, they would be clearer with their answer and give a more exact answer rather than an incomplete one.
For a way to understand how we ought to answer propositions, at least if we want to be a clear and good communicator, please check out: You won’t believe this… (Logic and Belief)
Structure of Logic
Logic focuses on the structure of an argument. This is split between valid and sound. A valid argument has premises that if true necessarily entail the conclusion, and a sound argument is a valid argument with true premises, therefore the conclusion is also true.
I do an overview of this in the article: What Does it Mean to Be Logical?
The Reasoning Process
To start, there is no real distinct reasoning process that can be applied to every situation, but when the reasoning process is brought up we generally speak of either deductive, inductive or abductive reasoning.
Deductive Reasoning is the ‘cleanest’ of reasoning. In short, if the premises (or propositions) are true, then the conclusion is guaranteed to be true as well.
You can think of this in terms of maths like: if x = 10 and y = 5 then 2x – y = 15
This can also be done in the form of a deductive syllogism.
A deductive syllogism follows a similar path to the above, for a valid format it would be:
P1. if A then B
C. therefore B
A valid syllogism doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. It just means that it is following the correct structure, but when the premises are true, the conclusion is necessarily true and therefore the syllogism is regarded as sound.
P1. All mammals are animals
P2. Elephants are mammals
C. Elephants are animals
The issue with this form of reasoning is, unless the premises are known to be true, we cannot guarantee the soundness and, whilst we can give ourselves instruction on how to act in certain situations like; “if you live in an area that suffers from droughts, you should invest in some water retention system, and you live in the desert, you can conclude that you should invest in some form of water retention system” you can’t really make any predictive conclusions about the future or things yet to be observed.
Rather than a guaranteed conclusion, inductive reasoning provides a most likely conclusion. You might have some very specific observations but can only guarantee that the conclusions you make are most probable.
Unlike deductive reasoning, any conclusions made with inductive reasoning are NOT logical necessities. No amount of inductive evidence guarantees the conclusion.
People commonly misquote any form of inductive reasoning as the “black swan fallacy”, but science itself is built on induction. Incredibly rigorous well justified induction. For example: gathering evidence, seeking patterns, and forming a hypothesis or theory to explain what is seen. The black swan was merely an example of how something might not be the case and to remember that with your conclusions. It becomes fallacious when you use inductive reasoning to guarantee a conclusion like you do with deductive reasoning.
To paraphrase, at one point only white swans were observed. Thousands and thousands of white swans. It was concluded all swans were white because no black swans were observed… until they were. You see, without the knowledge of if you have the whole set of swans, the observation of “all swans” is inductive. It is “so far, all swans I have seen”.
It’s why scientific research is never really concluded as absolute truth, at least until the thing has been proved false. Falsification is also known as the hypothetico-deductive method and is essentially applying a layer of deductive reasoning to inductive observations and predictions.
So, because conclusions reached through inductive reasoning are not necessarily true, they are referred to as cogent: that is, the evidence seems complete, relevant, and generally convincing, and the conclusion is therefore probably true. Nor are inductive arguments simply false; rather, they are not cogent.
Abductive reasoning is largely quite messy because it typically begins with an incomplete set of observations and/or data and proceeds to make predictions/conclusions based on the likeliness of this set.
This form of reasoning is actually something that is done daily by everyone as rarely do we have a whole picture. You can even see this being what drives a lot of medical diagnoses. Sure, some things are obvious like a broken bone observed under x-ray, but your GP will be listening to a set of symptoms you present and trying to work out the best possible explanation for them, especially as you might not mention all of the symptoms for any particular condition. Perhaps you are unconscious and you are unable to tell them the symptoms you experienced prior to losing consciousness.
So, abductive reasoning is akin to inductive reasoning, with the key difference being that instead of the evidence for inductive reasoning being fairly complete, the evidence (or explanation) for abductive reasoning is characterised by a lack of completeness.
Emotional / Sensory Reasoning
There is a form of reasoning that isn’t reasoned at all. There is a conclusion made from an emotional or sensory experience. You taste chocolate, you like the taste, you conclude you like the taste of chocolate.
As this isn’t reasoned, it isn’t actually a form of reasoning. It is not subject to rationality and is therefore arational rather than falling into the categories of rational/irrational. (much like amoral describes an action that doesn’t relate to morality, like drinking a glass of water.)
That said, you can then make some rational or irrational choices off of arational conclusions. Someone may step on your toe and you instantly push them off and say ouch (you believe it hurt), but then consider what this person did and ignore all the evidence that this was an accident, like them apologising and offering to help you etc, and have concluded this person is clearly trying to kill you and attack them, we would say you have come to an irrational conclusion based off of something arational.
The reason I bring this up is, as emotional beings we humans tend to default to more emotional states, attachments and conclusions and reason/act from there, rather than spend time reasoning properly.
Summary of Types of Reasoning
There are 3 main types of reasoning. Deductive, Inductive and Abductive. Within these there are subcategories, for example, Analytical reasoning is a form of deductive reasoning that comprehend a set of relationships, recognise logically equivalent statements and come to conclusions, like reading sets of data and suggesting actions in a board meeting, whereas analogous reasoning is a form of inductive reasoning based on previous experience of similar things and using that to infer what this new thing might be, consider looking at a new type of tree and see its tree-y-ness.
These types of reasoning and their subcategories are worth looking into further and exploring in more detail. It might be worth looking at your own behaviours and reasoning process and honestly considering where these fall in. It’s important to remember the pitfalls of these types of reasoning too. An inductive argument only tells us what most likely is the case, not what is definitely the case, and an abductive argument could be considered a best guess, and if it’s a medical problem a non-doctor’s best guess is likely not going to be good as a doctor’s best guess. Emotional reasoning is completely arational but how we act based on our emotions can be rational or irrational. Emotional responses are natural, but we should try and analyse those conclusions, at least those where we feel compelled to act, through a different lens.
My Reasoning Process
I’ll start by saying that what I am going to discuss is an ideal I try to hold to but there are a few things that get in the way of applying this sort of reasoning to everything.
There are actually a number of problems that get in the way of reasoning properly, and even having awareness of these problems and how they can affect us isn’t enough to combat them. We have to constantly try to overcome these things if we want to reason properly which can be tiring, to say the least. This brings me to my first point:
Time & Energy
The first is, it’s quite exhausting to reason to this level with every single thing presented. Were we to reason so heavily over every little piece of information we’d end up with decision paralysis.
My suggestion here is to try and be pragmatic in your approach. Is this a topic you care about? Will you be discussing it a lot? Will you be making decisions off of it? Will this impact your life in a negative way if you are wrong?
If the answer is no to all of the above, then it’s probably something you can allow yourself to go with the flow on. (Though I would advise refraining from holding strong opinions and getting into too many conversations about this topic unless you’re just trying to learn more about it).
The next block is bias. The brain takes a lot of energy to run, so to save time and energy it creates cognitive biases. These biases are shortcuts in reasoning. The simplest ones to think of are our preferences, like taste in music or favourite food, but these also happen on a much larger scale.
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re a fan of science. You read scientific journals, follow scientists on social media and are fairly well-read on the topic. There are certain scientists you follow that seem to be accurate in everything they say about science. The peer reviews are always positive. They present their data well. They can even communicate their discoveries in ways that any layperson can understand, showing they have a grand understanding of the topic.
Over time, a cognitive bias may form. Instead of looking into the things they say and checking the peer reviews, you might start just accepting what they say without question. (You have reasoned inductively.)
This is natural and, in a field this scientist is a specialist in, somewhat reasonable, though a mental note should always be made that you haven’t verified this.
The problem comes when you start trusting this scientist not only on science they don’t specialise in but other topics like history, philosophy, economics, politics or anything else not directly related to what they do. (This becomes abductive reasoning because you are expanding the set to a point where you have nowhere near enough information.)
We also can have pretty strong emotional biases. To positions we hold, things we enjoy, people we love/hate etc and this can cause strong reactions that cause us to not be able to fully engage the reasoning process. This is why “attack the belief and not the believer” doesn’t really work. When people have an identity built around their belief, attacking the belief is attacking them even if that isn’t the intent.
Awareness of bias is what is needed. We all have biases, and being aware we have them doesn’t mean we instantly circumnavigate the issues they present any more than knowing all the fallacies means we never commit any of them. However, being aware we have biases and constantly asking ourselves how much our bias is affecting our decisions can help with this.
I mentioned bias towards someone, you can have the same bias against things too. It’s easy to dismiss someone because they hold a different position to you, but just because they may hold an erroneous position doesn’t mean they are not rational, nor does it mean they are wrong about anything else.
You might have an anchoring bias that makes you aggressive, defensive, dismissive etc when someone identifies as a certain position. One of mine is, I find it hard to remain even and calm in dialogue with antivaxxers, and my awareness of this bias doesn’t always prevent me from being a bit of a knob.
So, it is important to be aware of our bias; how it affects the interaction, if the bias is making us be dismissive or defensive instead of actually spending the time to listen and understand this person. We should also loop back into the pragmatic point of view too, if you’re not willing to listen to others and reassess your position, do you really care about it? Does it affect you in any way? If not, why are you getting involved in this conversation?
There are a few problems with information
- Time to read
- Time to verify
Information isn’t always readily available. Sometimes it is behind a paywall or is only available in a foreign language, not to mention there is often way more misinformation available than information.
Even when it is available, sometimes the information can be quite complex, be that the subject matter or the language used. You then might spend more time looking up what things mean than actually reading the article.
This is problematic, especially for us laypeople, as we all have lives and responsibilities that can make it hard to read these lengthy and complex papers, let alone then finding some way to verify this image.
Sometimes, we have to be pragmatic and lean on some of our biases towards people we respect who have read these papers to give us the cliff note versions until we have the time to read in more depth, but we need to be aware that we are not fully informed and the information has been passed through testimony. That means we also have to take into account their understanding and their bias on top of ours, as well as our understanding of their testimony.
And again, we have to be pragmatic about this. Are we just interested in this topic or is it something we are going to be discussing at length? Does it affect us? Do we need the finer detail or is the summary enough?
Whilst we can have an emotional bias to a particular position or person, what I’m also referring to is our current emotional state.
If we are in a bad mood we are less likely to be receptive to new information, even that which we would normally accept. Sometimes, the best option is to simply acknowledge that and come back when you’re in a better mood.
Triggers are a very specific type of bias that prompts the involuntary recall of a previous traumatic experience. The stimulus itself need not be frightening or traumatic and may only be indirectly or superficially reminiscent of an earlier traumatic incident. The reason I separated this from both the bias and emotion sections is I feel it is distinct enough to be worthy of a slightly deeper dive.
Like the average bias creates a shortcut in reasoning and can produce an autonomic acceptance, denial, or other response, the trigger is more powerful because it is tied to past trauma.
Trauma is essentially an emotional response linked to a terrible experience like being caught in a natural disaster, seeing someone get blown up with a grenade, rape, car crashes etc, but can also apply to other experiences, especially things like psychological abuse. The long term reactions to this can be flashbacks, emotional outbursts, compulsive reactions to certain stimuli (aka triggers).
One of mine is narcissists or narcissistic behaviour. I’ve had a couple of friends and an ex who were narcissists and the past experience has affected me quite deeply. It has, however, made me quite good at spotting the behaviours that are likely linked to someone being a narcissist. My wife’s “best friend” when we started dating demonstrated those, but it was a new relationship so I couldn’t say anything. All I could do was occasionally predict a behaviour or something she would say and my wife would be surprised how I could know what this person I had only met briefly twice would say or do.
Online, at least on a text-based social media platform, it can take me a bit longer to work out when someone is a narcissist, but when I spot this pattern of behaviour I start to lose it with them, my comments become more emotionally charged as I see them manipulating others or trying to manipulate and browbeat me into submission, play their game their way or turn me into the enemy.
The narcissist will surround themselves with followers that tend to agree with everything that they say, worship the ground they walked on and act like the proverbial flying monkeys in defence of their King/Queen.
This most recently happened on Twitter and I didn’t handle it well, but one thing I did notice is I actually got messages from others saying that they had experienced the same behaviours in the past, so even though the monkeys all came to the person’s aid saying that they had never experienced it, it was at least nice to have it confirmed I wasn’t going insane.
What I should have done, is just block the person. When dealing with something or someone that triggers you, you’re not going to be at your best, and if you cannot have a reasonable conversation from the start, it is best to just discontinue and remove the trigger entirely. The problem is, you’re probably already triggered by that point and are less in control of yourself than you might have been before.
I don’t agree with echo chambers, I like to have people around me with different opinions and attitudes, as long as they are not harmful ones, but until you can deal with the trigger it is best not to put yourself into that sort of situation.
Summary of Problems
From time and energy to bias, emotions, information availability and complexity it can be tough to actually reason and hold rational positions on even our interests let alone everything.
This is at least one reason to not view rationality as an absolute standard of tick boxes you have to achieve. I would view it in a more relativistic way and be as rational as you can be.
Keeping in mind the things I mentioned above, both on types of reasoning and, the process I try and go through contains a few things:
When Dealing with People
- Assume the person is intelligent
- Assume the person is an honest actor
- Don’t let experiences with other people of a similar position sour you against them
- Not being combative
- Taking the time to listen and understand
- Be Charitable
- Admitting ignorance
- Reading material they provide and any material that might support or
- Taking time over responses
If we truly want to have a good dialogue with people then we should start by assuming they are intelligent, honest, and actually want to have a dialogue. We shouldn’t let our experiences of people who might have a seemingly similar position to them sour us e.g. if they are of the same religion or denomination we shouldn’t tar them all with the same brush. People can and will surprise you if you give them fair opportunity to.
We shouldn’t be combative. Our conversation is not a battle to be won but a journey shared looking to increase our understanding and move closer towards truth.
We should take the time to listen to the people and not assume we know everything about their position.
We should also not only understand the people behind the positions. Consider the antivaxxers. Most who take the antivaccination stance are not doing it for some nefarious reason. They are often doing it out of love. They’ve bought into misinformation and conspiracy which has led to a dangerous conclusion, but they are not the monsters people often make them out to be.
Be Charitable, try and give them the best reading of their argument, potentially even better than the reading they are actually giving, just so they can tell you’re not just looking to strawman them, but also it can help you both rhetorically.
I also do my best to admit when I don’t know something. If I can preface the discussion with “I’ve not looked into this much, but this is what I’ve learned so far” I can, hopefully, let the person know I’m still on a journey of discovery and only have a tentative conclusion if not agnostic on the topic.
If they provide me with some reading material, at least the kind that can be read for free, I do my best to read it and tell them I need time before taking the conversation further. That said, I am wary of those that seem to Gish gallop and there are a few sources that I am always suspicious of, which might be verging on a genetic fallacy, especially if I always discount them without giving them a chance, but if we go back into the problems I mentioned before, it wouldn’t be pragmatic for me to waste time reading things from sites like AiG, especially if they are writing about “science”.
Lastly, I like to take time over my responses, sometimes writing and re-writing or discussing them with friends. If I can, I like to sleep on it, because I know I can sometimes be a little bit resistant to new information and require it to percolate a little. Sometimes, I am far more impulsive and just respond then facepalm at myself.
When Dealing with Information
When we remove the human element from it, things become a little easier.
Considering our position carefully
When it comes to drawing conclusions from the information and/or people we ought to find a balance.
For example, if you find yourself leaning a certain way for reasons x, y, z, see if you can find counters for those points. See if you can counter the counters, and essentially play a game of tennis with yourself till eventually points will be scored for or against those positions.
It can also be a healthy process to try and take the exact opposite position to yours and look for all the best arguments that support it. Essentially, build a steelman case for a particular position and then chip away at the armour to reveal what remains.
If you have time, it’s also worth looking into similar, yet different, positions to your own, working out the key differences and again building said steelman for them.
To bring up a point earlier, awareness is key. This awareness needs to include:
- How long you’ve studied the topic
- That you might not know everything
- Your biases
- Your sources & their credibility
- Consensus of professionals in the field
- Your current emotional state
I can assure most people who think they have a lot of knowledge about a topic, especially one they haven’t formally studied, are likely ignorant of how much they don’t know about the topic.
As an example, I used to work part of an analyst team and one of the main tools we used was excel, often combined with macros and an SQL database and built a fair few reporting suites and applications using these tools.
Part of the job requirements was advanced knowledge of excel, though most people think because they can do a VLOOKUP or use pivot tables they have advanced knowledge. The second you start to show them some of the more advanced functions and features their mind is blown and they realise what might be considered “advanced” for the average person who doesn’t really need to use Excel that much is nowhere near an advanced working knowledge of the application and its abilities.
The same can be said about topics discussed online. If your only real understanding of morality is comparing religious morality to a personal or societal standard or you’ve really only looked at how morality seems to work instead of looking into metaethics and normative ethics, then again you haven’t really scratched the surface and what knowledge you have is quite limited.
We see a similar thing when some atheists discuss theism & religion. All gods become God, all religion becomes Christianity, all Christianity becomes a particular form of Christianity, perhaps the one they were brought up in, and “defeating” that form of Christianity means they’ve proved not only all Christianity but often all theism false.
My point with the last few paragraphs is to try and demonstrate how easy it is for anyone to get caught up in a bad argument.
Summary of My Process
Now, I may not have clearly laid out each example above of how I am reasoning through things, there were no labels like “this is deductive” etc but let’s review a few of the things I mentioned above.
For example, I mentioned when dealing with people to actually not just assume every person of the same position/religion/denomination etc is the same. This initially seems like I am going against inductive reasoning but my point here is your sample of these people is so small in comparison to the number of people in this position you are not going to be able to predict all of their arguments, justifications, and behaviours. To go back to the black swan example… it’s not like seeing 90% of the world’s swans and concluding they are all white, it’s like seeing 1% of them and concluding they are all white. Even in the case of seeing 90% of this type of people, you can still have a good conversation if you are willing to treat them as an intelligent human being open to dialogue and are not focused on changing their minds but understanding them better.
This is another form of induction, based on all the conversations I have had, the ones where I have assumed they are an idiot, that they are irrational, that they are a liar etc have all gone downhill.
The ones where I have put the effort in to have a good, honest, dialogue have led to mostly good conversations, though some people are less focused on the actual discussion and are more focused on winning and circle jerk so those conversations will not go as far. I am also starting to note signs of these behaviours better and try and remove myself politely from these conversations with an offer to continue at a later date, perhaps in private where they don’t have an audience to play up to, in the hope for a better conversation. This too is because I know suddenly turning round and pointing out they are playing for a crowd or are not really open to a conversation will not get me anywhere. All induction.
An example when looking at sources and information is something like AiG. AiG is a young earth creationist site. By definition, they reject contemporary science, at least when it comes to things like evolution* and dating methods.
*When I speak of evolution, I do speak of how evolution is properly defined and used through science. Creationists sometimes have a version of evolution.
P1. If you’re a young-earth creationist, you will reject evolution and dating methods.
P2. AiG is a young earth creationist site
C. AiG rejects evolution and dating methods
This, combined with the inductive process of reading a number of their articles, some science-based, some not, I have concluded that it is unlikely they will have anything worth reading. (Induction)
Also, from a number of things I have read they are clearly peddling false information. I have concluded a number of times that they have false articles (deduction) and as there are multiple I can infer that there is a higher probability they will be pumping out false information in the future (induction).
I was surprised once though, an article that explained why the “why monkeys” argument was bad and creationists should stop using it. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
When I mentioned sources, I spoke of pragmatism as well. This too comes down to a bit of induction and deduction.
P1. If you don’t have much free time in your day, you should focus on good, credible, clear sources of information.
P2. I don’t have much time in my day
C. I should focus on good, credible, clear sources of information.
How I work out what those are is a case of induction, and not just because it agrees with me, often it doesn’t, but if it is clear and understandable then it is a clear source. Credible information would be those sources like universities and peer-reviewed papers and there is also the analogous form of induction where we can compare types of arguments etc to others. I am essentially applying a form of fallibilism to the sources, but I try to remember one bad article doesn’t necessarily mean everything that source produces is false, especially if they have a follow-up stating that new evidence has made us realise that this article was wrong. We even have our old articles up for people to view even if we don’t necessarily agree with them anymore.
Now, I could go back through and break down every point of my reasoning process in this method and point out how I am using all these different forms of reasoning to reason in hopefully a rational way and demonstrate I am justified in my conclusions even if I may be mistaken sometimes.
Hopefully this brief overview of reason, the reasoning process, logic, rationality, and my personal ethic in dealing with people and information and trying to reason through problems. I do try and apply these methods of reasoning and stick to my method, but I know I fail too. And that’s ok. I’m aware I fail and even if it takes me a sleep or two I usually realise it and do my best to correct my mistakes. Equally, sometimes I fail because there are some folks that are just not open to honest dialogue and I lose it with them. This too, is my problem and perhaps if I learned to conclude people were not worth talking to much quicker I wouldn’t need such a sudden “break” from a sunk cost.
In the future, we plan to delve more into reasoning, rationality, and logic. Dave is putting together an intro to logic, and I am writing it here so he can’t forget to do it. 😉
For now, here are some articles and podcasts related to logic and rationality:
- You won’t believe this… An intro to Propositional Logic.
- What Does it Mean to Be Logical? – An overview of Logic and Rationality
- Propositional Logic and Beliefs – Podcast with PDF on Propositional Logic.
- Propositional Logic and Beliefs – Video Version of the Above.
- Beliefs, Language, and Logic – An overview of Logic, language and beliefs.
- Why should we use the rules of logic? – Demonstration of propositional logic with ‘God exists’.
- GDC: The Basics of the Laws of Logic.
- GDC: Breaking logic: Playing with Modal logic. (False conclusions from valid and sound arguments?).
- So what is this ‘Normative’ thing all about anyway? – Normative language and its ties to logic.
- Normatively Atheist – Why the ‘Belief God Does Not Exist’ definition of atheist is considered ‘Normative’.
- Wiki: List of logic symbols – Really useful guide to logic symbols.
- Wiki: Truth Tables – an overview of truth tables.
- Bad Atheist Arguments – Vol: 02 – Beliefs and Logic
- Beliefs and Rationality – CMT Vol: 10
- Rationality: How Can a Belief Be Rational? – SciPhi Shortz
- Beliefs and Rationality – CMT Vol: 10
- To Be or Not To Be (Rational)!? – SciPhi
- Is it rational to form beliefs based on testimony?
- Disgustingly Enjoyable – SciPhi
- Hammering Rationality – SciPhi
- How Rational Are You?: A Nightmare on Reason St.
And don’t forget, @trolleydave and I recently appeared on Godless Granny’s stream to discuss this topic:
I am also working on some highlights from the stream which can be found in our highlights playlist on the Answers in Reason YouTube channel:
I’m Joe. I write under the name Davidian, not only because it is a Machine Head song I enjoy but because it was a game character I used to role-play that was always looking to better himself.
This is one of many things I hope to do with Answers In Reason.
I run our Twitter and IG accounts, as well as share responsibility for our FB group and page, and maintain the site, whilst writing articles, DJing, Podcasting (and producing), keeping fit and more.
Feel free to read a more detailed bio here: https://www.answers-in-reason.com/about/authors/4/
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