The importance of logic.

And it’s misrepresentation in media.
A portrait photograph of Gareth Latty.

Logic is a big deal to me. As a programmer, logic is essentially the core of everything I do, and as a person, I feel logic is the core driving force for who I am. I define myself on logic.

Needless to say, I take a lot of offense at the way logic is treated by society in general. If you describe someone as logical, people instantly associate that with cold and calculating, with boring. I think that’s mainly something we can blame on the media. Especially when you look at children’s entertainment, villains are often posed as logical, while heroes are normally borderline naïve, pushing blind faith and ignoring the facts as good things.

I get that it makes for good stories - going against the odds makes for easy drama, believing in the good guys unquestioningly makes the character seem loyal and morally strong. However, are these actual qualities we want in people?

I was recently tal king to friends about Santa, and I mentioned in passing that I wouldn’t lie to my future children about Santa. This got me shocked reactions and I was told this was cruel to my potential children. I find this an odd situation - I don’t see why children have to believe Santa is real to enjoy the story, as with any story.

Teaching children proper logic should mean that they go out into the world inquisitive and untrusting - and that is fine. Trust is a great trait to have in people who have given you reason to trust them. In general, trust means taking things at face value without questioning them. That’s terrible! Not only does it leave you open to being scammed (an unfortunate reality), but more importantly, it stops you asking why. Great inventions, discoveries, scientific advances and theological theories come from asking why. We desperately want children to be smart and take interest in the world, and yet we constantly bombard them with this idea that they should not be asking why or how.

We need to try and remove this idea that being logical means a lack of emotion or empathy, and instead instill it as something we want, expect, in everyone. Logic is the way forward in all fields, it’s essential to everything, and I hate to see it villainised.