1. Reaching logical conclusions with syllogisms.
"Aristotle investigated the methods by which several propositions could be linked together to produce an entirely new proposition. Two propositions (called the premises) would be taken to be true, and another (called the conclusion) would follow from the premises, forming a three-line argument, called a syllogism. “A syllogism accepts only those conclusions that are inescapable from the stated premises.
The propositions in the first two lines are the premises; the proposition in the third line is the conclusion. If the argument is valid and you accept the premises as true, then you must accept the conclusion as true.
Consider the following syllogism:
All poodles are dogs.
All dogs are animals.
Therefore, all poodles are animals.
The three propositions above form a valid argument (albeit a simplistic and obvious one). Since the conclusion follows of necessity from the two (true) premises, it is inescapable." — From Logic Made Easy
by Deborah J. Bennett
Isolating opinion from fact can prevent illogical thinking. We often base our beliefs on generalizations resulting in incorrect conclusions. We do this for the sake of ease. It seems like a lot of effort to find facts that support our positions in every area of our lives. But, what are the consequences of not verifying our beliefs? If we agree that our beliefs inform our actions, and our actions shape our lives, then our beliefs are the atomic building blocks for our existence. We each have a motive to believe our truth, but we are better off with the truth.
As well as our own truths, we must face the truths of the world. Journalism has become synonymous with content creation - the imperative for facts has been displaced with the need for engagement.
The Columbia University Libraries published a study
by Canadian reporter Craig Silverman revealing how news websites spend more time spreading inaccurate information than verifying their own claims. News organizations now have a vested interest in propagating misinformation, as falsehoods spread faster than truths.
Being able to cultivate an imperative for truth has become a vital need and a rare commodity. 2. The dangers of perspective blindness.
“Perspective blindness’ refers to the fact that we are oblivious to our own blind spots. We perceive and interpret the world through frames of reference but we do not see the frames of reference themselves. This, in turn, means that we tend to underestimate the extent to which we can learn from people with different points of view.” — From Rebel Ideas
by Matthew Syed
We judge others based on incomplete information, causing us to believe an inaccurate narrative. This extends to decisions, opinions, beliefs and eventually, our identity. Through perspective blindness, we construct a distorted view of reality, which becomes the map we use to navigate life.The incompleteness is not the issue, but our failure to recognize it is. If we acknowledge that much remains unseen, we can keep an open mind as situations unfold.
View my book summary of Rebel Ideas.