If you consider yourself a rational person, and people are telling you you're hurting them, someone else, or the community, then please. Interrogate your motivations.

It is so amazingly easy to draw a chain of implications that ends with something like "they deserve it" or "they're weird" or "they hurt me first." But you not only need to ask why, but you need to ask why in the many different ways. Don't just ask "why do they deserve it?" that's a loaded question. Ask "why should I punish them if they do?"

If you consider yourself a rational person, in particular a rationalist, I highly recommend you learn formal logic.

If you've never learned it formally, you need to take a hard look at how you think logic works, and how it actually does. Knowing lists of logical fallacies is not enough. You must be able to distinguish between valid and sound arguments. You must understand that a fallacy in an argument does not prove the conclusion false. You must understand that debates are not how truth is determined.

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@SuricrasiaOnline I agree with your first post in this thread.

Regards formal logic: it's useful, but *a tool* (hence Aristotle titling his work on the topic of logic as "Organon" -- "The Tool").

Formal logic -- argument following specific structures and _form_, is _not all there is to logic. There's semantics, empiricism, and just plain social and street smarts as well.

All of which are strong arguments against being an arsehole just because you think you're right.


TL;DR: Don't be an asshot. But if reason's your crutch, at least learn the ropes. But don't stop there.


@dredmorbius you may have missed the third item in this thread where I say:

"And even then, you should learn when you should wield this tool, and when you should let things pass. Logic is exactly that, a tool, but what do you want to build with this tool? Please use it to create, and not to destroy."

@SuricrasiaOnline Fair enough.

Mind: I'm agreeing *and VERY strongly* with your bigger point.

What I'm trying to withhold from the rationalists is the myth that formal logic is even a sufficient or significant portion _even of logic itself_. Let alone being a decent human being.

It's not.

Violent agreement perhaps?

@SuricrasiaOnline Oh, and I won't even pretend that the "it's just a tool" notion is one I've had for a long time. Swiped that from Peter Adamson's podcast last week.

I didn't even realise Ari had _called_ the thing that, though I knew of Francis Bacon's "Novum Organon", "the new tool". As of ... a year or two ago.

I'm just a student of this shit like anyone else.

The fact that I'm trying to slot a bunch of stuff into an ontology of technological mechanisms is why the idea resonated w/ me.

@SuricrasiaOnline ... oh, and thinking through a lot of related topics (many of them social and cultural issues), what's struck me is that at the heart of many of these questions is somewhat less a matter of *logic* but of *values*.

What ultimately are the goals of life, society, and the various implements and institutions of it.

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