Philosophical escapism: Using logic to convince yourself of whatever you want to believe

In an earlier video I talked about the dangers of spiritual escapism, that in the world of spiritual things, we can really believe whatever we want, and there’s no test of physical reality that can disprove and say “No, your spiritual belief is wrong”, or “Yes, your spiritual belief is right”.
Because we can believe anything, it presents a hazard for us to go into it and just believe whatever we want, use it to believe things that make us feel better, maybe not the most helpful things.
So it’s something to always be on guard against, wondering if we believe something, how much is it because we want to believe it, versus we really believe it to be true and useful for us? But I think this is only one part of the picture.
It kind of suggests that because this is a world without logic, a world not grounded in reality, that we have this particular hazard.
But I found this to be also present in the complete opposite, the world of philosophy, where everything is very logical.
The world of logical debate and logical reasoning seems to be in many ways the opposite of the spiritual world, where I can have a spiritual intuition of the way things are.
In philosophy, I would have to propose a syllogism, a logical formula to suggest why something should be, and there can be these intense debates about how this therefore that, and not that therefore that, and logical fallacies, and all sorts of spiritually based statements can be just chopped down as being, well, that’s a logical fallacy, and that does not follow, and you have not proven your case.
And these philosophical arguments can just go on and on and just be attacking all kinds of sides of logic, and looking for holes in the argument, and then making another case that supersedes that argument, and really just throwing logic against itself in this sort of logical war, of just these forces of logic attacking any possible weaknesses and trying to come up with more logically sound statements.
And in many ways, I mean, it’s very reasonable, it’s very rational, it’s very logical, and I love this kind of conversation.
I enjoy challenging all these beliefs and considering things from different angles, and this is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
But it seems to me like this also presents the same kind of dangers of being a hole for escapism.
Because, I mean, it has this allure to it, this idea of logic.
It feels like if I can make this logical point, that this is absolutely sound, this is absolutely true and yet logical arguments can be made for all sorts of contradictory conclusions.
You can just name any possible argument that you want to come up with, you can also come up with a logical defence for that argument.
And if it doesn’t sound logical to you, there may be somebody who’s willing to debate you, there almost certainly is somebody who’s willing to debate you on that point, and can very passionately argue that that argument is absolutely logical.
So, unlike with a spiritual belief, you can simply feel it and therefore believe anything that you feel, with a logical belief, a logical statement, you can work your way into it.
You can’t just say “Oh, I feel this to be true”, but you can say “I believe it to be true” and you can come up with a logical structure.
You build this logical frame that leads you to that conclusion.
So in the end, it’s very similar.
You can really believe whatever you want, and come up with a logical story behind it, even if it is something that is very illogical.
Like you could come up with a logical reason why all human beings should cease to exist.
Somehow that seems wrong, that seems like that should not be correct, and of course there’s strong logical arguments against it, but you can make a logical case for it.
So logic can itself become its own hole of- you can dig your own hole of this exact logical formula that you come up with to support your beliefs, to scaffold them with this logical framework.
Starting with whatever you want to believe, you can come up with logic to back it up.
And I always like to leave this as a challenge, that I believe that any case that can be made with logic, it’s possible to come up with the opposite case and also present a logical argument for it.
So I’d be curious to hear from you about how you feel about this idea of logic.
Am I missing something in this idea that anything can be logically demonstrated or argued? And how do you feel about that? Do you like to use logic and philosophical arguments, or do you also see this as being as dubious as I do? So let me know how you feel about it, and I’m happy to carry on logical discussion as well.
It’s a wonderful tool that we have, and yet it seems like it’s also vulnerable to be taken as a kind of magic formula for finding the truth, when really it’s a tool for supporting things that we may choose to believe anyway.

#rationalization #limitsofreason #escapism

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