Contradictions: Do They Exist In Your Thinking?

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Epistemology, Ethics
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Whatever you may think you know or may ever hope to know, keep the following in mind: contradictions do not exist.  Most people, who exercise some capacity of rational thought, understand that absolute.  Just to be clear about reason; it is our metal faculty which takes our precepts and integrates that information within the entire context of our existing knowledge in a non-contradictory manner.  The issue is, however, when we think we’re facing a contradiction, our default assumption is to eliminate the new information — that is an error.

 Man is capable of error, so when facing a contradiction, wouldn’t it be prudent to challenge what you already know on a rational standard to see if you made an error?  What’s the worst that could happen?  You continue to revalidate your initial assumptions based on rational standards?  What’s the best that could happen?  You discover an error in your thinking and you correct it.  (The value in correcting one’s thinking should be plain).

 To guide your thinking, become familiar with the Laws of Thought: Law of Identity, Law of Excluded Middle, and Law of Non-Contradiction.  Why?  Most understand, at least implicitly, the Primacy of Existence; the next logical step is conforming your thoughts to Law of Identity — i.e., the Supremacy of Reason — the result being the elimination of any contradictions that may exist in your thinking.

 We know through observation, and the Law of Identity as applied to man, that man must use reason to survive — reason is man’s basic tool of survival qua man.  Man must create material values (route water, plant and grow food, build shelters, etc.) to survive; values do not preexist for him — he lacks claws for defense, fur or hide for warmth or protection, and preexisting knowledge to serve as instinct.  Any form of creation, from tools to a skyscraper, requires a process of thought – “what is it that I want to achieve, and how do I do it”? 

 In determining how do accomplish something, man must determine the identity of certain objects.  In something as simple as planting, for example, he has to understand that the identity of plants obligates certain requirements for the plant to flourish — the roots must be buried in dirt with plenty of nutrients, the leaves must have access to an adequate amount of photons, and the plant requires access to the right amount of water.  Man must discover how to accomplish these tasks and in what order.  None of this can be achieved by a process of non-thinking, and most importantly, none of his thinking can be effective unless he accurately identifies the facts of reality — i.e. he thinks rationally — and acts accordingly.

 In the spirit of rooting out contradictions, perhaps the most important historical tenant, that is taken as an absolute, which requires challenging on a rational standard, is the principle of otherism — i.e. altruism.  Why is altruism accepted without question?  Is it because altruism has no rational foundation?  Why is questioning altruism — i.e. using your rational faculty to challenge it — considered inhumane?  Isn’t rational thought, as we observed, necessarily a human requirement?  So, thought is obligatory in creating values, but the absence of thought is obligatory in how to dispose of those values? 

 And therein lays the contradiction: man’s identity obligates rational thought, while altruism (thus far) obligates its absence — how can it be obligatory to think and not to think?  If you wish to eliminate every contradiction in your thinking, then altruism either requires a rational foundation or it’s patently false.  Use this opportunity to start your rational journey into the field of ethics, root out the error, and eliminate the contradiction — whatever it may be. 

 Let’s hear what you discovered.  Does a rational foundation exist for altruism or is it doomed as irrational?  You might be wondering what could possibly replace altruism.  Catch a glimpse of it here.

  1. […] To guide your thinking, become familiar with the Laws of Thought: Law of Identity, Law of Excluded Middle, and Law of Non-Contradiction. Why? [Continue…] […]

  2. […] Contradictions: Do They Exist In Your Thinking? […]

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