Sunday, 4 December 2016
People And Logic
-SM Stirling, On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000), Chapter Nineteen, p. 393.
This is not just because people behave illogically. To think logically is to reason validly from premises - whether the premises are true or false. Thus:
A is a weak-willed alcoholic;
such a person will accept a drink if offered;
therefore, A will accept a drink if offered.
B is a strong-willed teetotaller;
such a person will refuse a drink if offered;
therefore, B will refuse a drink if offered.
Both these syllogisms are valid. But the premises may or may not be true. Might B lose his strong will under pressure? Might A gain some stronger motivation, e.g., from a religious conversion? We do not know all that goes on inside another human being. Therefore, we cannot predict anyone's actions with certainty.