Saturday, April 01, 2017

The Logic of being Logical

I recently read this in one of the recommended reading materials for my course:
“The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.” (G.K. Chesterton)

It struck a note of familiarity in me as I constantly find myself knotted in a self conflict of what is the right action or ideology to adopt. With today's news of strings of unexpected events like terrorist attacks, kidnappings, murders, Trump as president, neverending denials of corruption when evidence is screaming at us, racial and sexuality sensitivity, bigotry and all sorts of weird pop culture stuffs, it is hard to stay neutral and do the politically correct thing.

Things used to be largely clear cut - black or white, good or bad, right or wrong, yes or no. But nowadays, things are so convoluted. I would've thought that with a generally higher level of knowledge, people would be enlightened and do the right thing. But it has proven otherwise, with more knowledge it has enabled many to manipulate situations to favour themselves. What happened to chivalry and integrity?

And the trend is to over-sensationalise insignificant things. I go through my social media newsfeed and many article titles are so hyped up over some silly trends like "XXX wore flipflops on the red carpet and we will never be the same again!" How is that life-changing? Cultivation of bird brain readership. And so happens that this same webpage regularly propagates feminism articles which, honestly, sometimes are embarrassingly absurd and a total waste of my click and time.

The question comes down to, why is it such a trendy thing to be seen affiliated with a certain cause and to go into fanaticism? Much of the time, the supporters don't really understand or care significantly about the cause. Quantity over quality. And this is why I don't follow pop culture.

Returning to the quote above, for example, the issue of 'spare the rod, spoil the child'. Growing up, I remember being canned not often, but a number of times and I remember why it happened and with reason too, i.e. it worked for me. Learning through disciplinary action, where we are able to distinguish and rationalise why we shouldn't do certain things. However, today's generation of parents believe in just rationlising to the child without any disciplinary action, citing research that caning permanently scars psychologically. While I do agree that excessive or unreasonable caning will hurt the child physically and mentally, and some children are more workable on the talking and reasoning method, undeniably there are other children who are more strong-willed (i.e. stubborn) and your words will fall on deaf ears. So what do we do with these children to ensure they learn to distinguish good from bad?

And if we change how we handle these group of children, the know-it-alls will come after you with pointed fingers saying this is unfair treatment and abusive. All quick to judge but no solution, which in my opinion is just pointless. Every child has a different disposition. One method may not work for all, but the key is to know when to change tactics and what is the sufficient level of disciplinary action for the child to learn the intended lesson. It may seem rather arbitrary but if it is your own child, I believe you should know when to enforce and when to stop. The Father disciplines us because He loves us. Same principle.

So this is just one of the numerous topics I think of and find myself stuck in debates of what is right. And some opinions are better kept offline.

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