Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Near Death of Logic, the Clear Dearth of Integrity

One of society’s largest problems is that decisions on all matters, be it education, health, national security or any other issue, are no longer rooted in pure logic with a regard for what’s best for society. No longer do we analyze what’s best overall and then seek to implement sound solutions. Indeed, people who try to are often derided for doing so.

To be sure, those on the wrong side of any issue often quote facts to support their agendas, but only those facts that suit its side. Contrary to what they may claim, such practice is not logic; it’s the antithesis of it. Logic demands rigorous analysis of all relevant facts in order to determine the best course of action. Skewing facts to fit a nonsensical agenda is dishonest and benefits no one.

By contrast, pure logic truly benefits society. Real, results oriented compassion stems from logic. A compassion that demands we accomplish what’s truly best as opposed to offering a self-serving quick fix. Logic demands a high level of mercy and advocacy for the general welfare of the public. But the type of mercy it demands is the true kind, one that discourages dependency and encourages innovation. It discourages hedonism and boredom and supports rehabilitation, invention and productivity. The benefits of the policies that emanate from it are readily felt and will benefit society on all levels, from increased business to private determination and healthier living.

Unbiased logic demands integrity and cannot exist without it. All societal problems commence when one either wholly ignores logic or when one attempts to twist it in support of one’s predetermined goals. Both these factors have hurt society most today.

To correct this we must start on an individual level. To begin with, people need to examine a proper course for their lives and for societal issues without preconceived notions. Understanding that our own lives and those of our fellow human beings have purpose is the only thing that can animate us to do and seek better and to demand honest solutions to all major issues.

For this to happen, those who have not paid attention to matters of faith must begin a rigorous process of examining the cause of the wonderfully complex creation and our own purpose in it. Failure to do so has led to the breakdown of every society that ignored its greater purpose, a failure that generally started on an individual level. Fixing societal problems, most of which stem from such lack of purpose, must also start individually.

A lack of purpose does not only lead to violence, drugs and school shootings. It breeds laziness and self serving corruption among medical research workers and encourages them to seek short fixes instead of really making a difference. The same is true with regard to those are charged with setting educational standards, those who are charged with determining a course of training or rehabilitation of those who need, those who decide socio-economic policy and those who influence the opinions of others on all matters vital to society.

To accomplish anything meaningful, all who work in these areas must do so with allegiance to what is best for society. Yet few are doing this and the root cause is a failure to realize one’s vital place in benefiting society and one’s responsibility to do so, a charge received from our Creator.

Contrary to popular clichés, pure logic demands faith. As we discussed recently in another column, a complex world with billions of species, each perfectly containing a male and female type to allow for the continued existence of each, a world in which if one chemical such as oxygen were missing, life would be impossible even with the complex organic structure that is the human body and a world in which all major life would have existed mere days were all this in place except for sustenance can no more come to being in and of itself than an entire set of encyclopedias can be formed from a random ink spill.

The above example still fails to take into account that an encyclopedia set being randomly formed wouldn’t involve one iota of the myriads of simultaneous actions necessary for any life to exist, much less an entire planet. And all this is without so much as broaching the complex emotional, intellectual and spiritual makeup of a person. Delve into this further and examine even daily goings on and especially the events in every person’s life and the conclusion is a clear one.

As such, contrary to the claims of those who cannot back up their assertions, yet who demand our allegiance because they call themselves “scientists” even while refusing to examine any aspect of an issue that does not fall into their preconceived, unproven and oft times illogical notions (which an increasing number of scientists disagree with as well), faith and logic are anything but mutually exclusive. In fact, logic demands faith. And only such recognition of the fact that each of us were put on this world for a purpose can animate us to do what’s right, to recognize the importance of others.

While most scientists and a number of formerly prominent atheists have now rejected such a point of view as wholly illogical, far fewer have made the important connection between their newly discovered faith and action. But recognizing our place in the world is of utmost importance, as unbiased logical analysis leads us to recognize the value of human life and the importance of the unique roles that each of us have been created for. True examination leads us to realize that each person has a unique purpose beyond self-absorbed pleasure seeking that is only detrimental in the long run.

Such a realization shows us that we have a charge to keep; to propose and to implement solutions that truly benefit society, not to satisfy ourselves with easy answers. And this is true when working in all fields that deal with society and encompasses all major issues.

Seeking to truly benefit society does not hinder us. It strengthens us and allows us to accomplish more. This is true in our own lives and even more so in the fields of business, societal activity, medical research and in general formation of policy. True purpose and meaning animates each of these fields and leads them to new heights.

So given all that, why wait? The components necessary for life must be maintained every second to continue (though that’s another discussion) and given that we’re here, right now, for the purpose of doing something, let’s do it.

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