The Logic of Oprah
Rules for Getting Along
First Principles: If we want to have a meaningful dialogue, we must agree to first principles of logic. Otherwise we are talking past ourselves.
IOW, One is logical, while the other has rejected basic logic and will tend to not be consistently coherent in any argument he/she gives.
There's no sense in trying to have a meaningful dialogue with one who rejects reason.
The difference between a truly learned individual and a purveyor of rhetoric is clearly found in one or the other's adherence to reason as opposed to rhetorical games fixated on an emotional response.
Basics of the first principles of right reason:
The laws of thought are fundamental axiomatic rules upon which rational discourse itself is based. The rules have a long tradition in the history of philosophy. They are laws that guide and underlie everyone's thinking, thoughts, expressions, discussions, etc. (Wikipedia)(Corboy note: In New Wage society, reason and logic are devalued--a sign that this is soggy turf. )
Laws of thought cannot be proven, but are self-evident.
In other words, they must be true in order for any proposition based on them (and whether we like it or not, all logical propositions are based on them) or in them to be true.
For example, the proposition: 2+2=4 cannot be proven. It is self evident. It's operation is accepted as a foundational operation of addition in mathematics.
In the law of noncontradiction, or (LNC), the proposition that a thing cannot be other than it is, is self evident.
A glass of water is not at the same time, not-a-glass-of-water.
That it is not not a glass of water is self-evident, and is not subject to proof, as in a mathematical proof.
One could play games of semantics to show that a glass of water is not in fact a glass of water, but in strict semantics; as in that term (or those terms) which we agree represent a glass of water, a glass of water cannot not be a glass of water at the same time and in the same sense.(A kid came home from university and "proved" to his father that the 3 eggs sitting on the table were actually six eggs. Dad, who had sold two of his draft oxen to finance the kid's year at the university, seeing that his sacrifice had enabled his kid to become a linguistic con artist, put the kid in his place. He cooked the 3 eggs, ate them, then told the boy, "Son, you can have the other three eggs for your supper." The boy went to bed hungry.)
The three classic, and fundamental laws of thought are attributed to Aristotle and were foundational in scholastic logic. (all quoted from Wikipedia)
Law of identity
Law of noncontradiction
Law of excluded middle
Law of Identity
In logic, the law of identity is the first of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that an object is the same as itself: A ¨ A (if you have A, then you have A); While this can also be listed as A ß A (A if-and-only-if A,) this is redundant. Any reflexive relation upholds the law of identity. When discussing equality, the fact that "A is A" is a tautology.
Law of Noncontradiction
In classical logic, the law of non-contradiction (LNC) (or the principle of non-contradiction (PNC), or the principle of contradiction) is the second of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both at the same time be true, e.g. the two propositions "A is B" and "A is not B" are mutually exclusive.
Law of Excluded Middle
In logic, the law of excluded middle (or the principle of excluded middle) is the third of the so-called three classic laws of thought. It states that for any proposition, either that proposition is true, or its negation is.
The law is also known as the law (or principle) of the excluded third (or of the excluded middle), or, in Latin, principium tertii exclusi. Yet another Latin designation for this law is tertium non datur: "no third (possibility) is given". (Wikipedia)
Why is This Important?
When someone like, say Oprah Winfrey presents one of her gexperth guests (on her former show) with a particular philosophical Point Of View, and someone in the audience is allowed to speak, but objects to the guest's philosophy for one reason or another, whether validly or not, and Oprah proclaims: gWell, that's your truth, and his/her truth is equally valid,h
we are faced with a logical dilemma; no matter what
the philosophic POV presented.
Oprah is logically incoherent by making such a claim; yet such assertions are quite common in post-modern thought; a thought process that is rapidly taking over Western thought as information is transmitted at speeds beyond our ability to process it.
Why is Oprah's hypothetical claim logically incoherent?
(while I can't attest that Oprah has stated the exact phrase as quoted, she has made very similar claims, indicating that she actually insists that religious beliefs be a matter of personal preference, and not a matter of truth).(Corboy others invoke the claim that experience, not logic be the arbiter. Problem is, experiences can be misleading at best or at worst, be manufactured via trance induction and group think especially if an audience is rendered suggestible by lack of sleep--which is orhestrated in some weekend seminars.)
First of all, when Oprah hypothetically states: gyour truth (religious belief) and his/her truth (religious belief) are equally valid,h
she is automatically violating several of the first principles of logic:
We must start with a given: The guest's POV or gtruthh is not
the same as that of the audience member.
While there could be elements
about the guest's truth that are either true or false, and the same may be true of the audience member; both gtruth'sh being equally true when they contradict, is simply not true.
The proposition that two opposing truths can both be true is a violation of the law of noncontradiction. gAh cannot equal gnon-A.h
Also, Oprah herself is hypothetically being incoherent by not also applying the assertion to herself. In other words, her belief that one's g(religious) truthh is equal to another's opposing g(religious) truthh assumes first the law of non-contradiction that her overall (religious) truth is true.
If she wishes to make an argument, her rule must apply to her.
So that if someone disagrees with her truth that two opposing truths can both be true, then she must accept the proposition that two opposing truths cannot both be true.
Therefore, she is logically incoherent and self-defeating.
Oprah has basically rejected the proposition that there are absolute truths. (that is to say, logically absolute truths)
Claims that must be true in order for anything else to be true.
She has rejected the three basic laws of classical logic. Let's break this up a bit.(Corboy note: Maybe Oprah has rejectedt he basic laws of Western classical logic. But the attorneys she hires have not rejected western logic. Otherwise they would be useless to her as attorneys. Thats part of the hilarity of watching New Wage personalities. They claim to reject reason and logic but make sure to hire advisors (attorneys and accountants who are effective because they utilize the logic that their boss has claimed to reject. )
The proposition: There are no absolute truths is itself an absolute statement of truth. It is self-defeating
. One proves the opposite if one were able to prove that there are no absolute truths; it depends itself on an absolute truth. Such contradictions in logic are what we call absurdities. Logic does not allow for what is absurd.
So we can establish that much popular new-age thinking, upon which much of current liberal thought is based is itself logically absurd. It may sound truthy; as in eliciting a certain emotionally epistemological response that something sounds true; either by the ability of the speaker to articulate a point, or to force a point by bald assertion, but sounding truthy and being truthful are two different things.
So if we are to get along and come to some agreement as to where we must go I our nation's future, we must reject common and popular assertions coming from new-age and radically leftist thinking. We must reject that one person's truth can be as logically valid as another's. We must reject this when applied to science, when applied to history, when applied to civics, when applied to religion, and when applied to morality. All are interrelated. But even if we cannot agree on what is truthful in any one of these areas, say religion; we can come to some agreement as to what is true morally; and it is morality, which has come to be the most contentious area of truth in American politics.
If we are to survive as a nation, we must come to some basic agreement as to what is moral and what is immoral; and new-age thought is completely bankrupt in allowing us to come to that agreement, due to its rejection of basic principles of logic.
I gave Oprah Winfrey as an example of this, but one can find examples throughout popular new-age thought.
Some may look at this and say gWell, you're talking about religion. With religion there are different rules.h
Well, not really. Religions make truth claims.
As such, they are subject to the same rules of logic as any other truth claim.
Furthermore, the notion that greligion follows different rules of logic than other truth
,h as an argument for why religion should be treated differently than other truth claims, is itself an argument that depends on rules of logic.
For the statement to be logically coherent, the only recourse is to state that religious claims or arguments must adhere to the rules of logic.
But let's set religion aside. I used that as an example, because religious thought tends to be the type of thought that excuses itself most often from logical scrutiny; especially in new-age religious thought.
But that type of thinking has
permeated into mainstream non-religious, or secular thought, and that's why it's important to address it.
Posted 24th March by Brandon