Why does loud stupidity seem to trump thoughtful logic?

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Reply Mon 4 May, 2009 01:57 pm
Catchabula;61084 wrote:
what loud stupidity were the words of Jesus, how loud and stupid were the acts of von Stauffenberg (boom!!).
The words of Jesus are remembered by history because of people like Constantine, who won over the Roman citizenry not by any "quiet logic".

And von Stauffenberg and the rest of the July 20 plotters had 11 years to get something done, it's not like Hitler's plans for Europe were ever a secret.
Reply Mon 4 May, 2009 02:47 pm
Yes, probably not the best of examples. But many were shot by the germans here in my country, because of their work for the resistance. I admire them a lot, but perhaps I shouldn't? I really don't know if I have to admire them or not, perhaps they were all masochists? Or communists as bad as mister Hitler? There may be little purity in this, and it's all a complicated matter. Or do you have a more general point?
Reply Mon 4 May, 2009 06:51 pm
Well, what can be said about resistance to Hitler among the highest orders of his military was that it was downright pusilanimous, obsequious, cowardly, and tardy compared with resistance movements everywhere he exerted his influence. Even the generals who were opposed to his politics never did anything useful to stop him, and they (if anyone) knew what he was up to.

And yet there was a massive partisan movement in your country, in Scandinavia, in France, in Poland, in the occupied Soviet territory, in Greece, in Yugoslavia, etc. Despite the fact that the SS were machine-gunning Jewish babies as early as 1939, the German military not only didn't stop that horror, but they provided material aid (the Babi Yar massacre would have never happened without the help of Army Group South). And Jews, who were poor, starved, diseased, unarmed, and with no central organization led rebellions in Krakow, Warsaw, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and Sobibor (in the latter two cases leading to the closure of those camps).

No surprise, right? I mean it's obvious that the most brutally victimized would be the most likely to rebel. But they weren't rebelling because of logic -- they were rebelling for sheer survival.

On the other hand, you read the biographies of people like Adolf Eichmann, Odilo Globocnik, Franz Stangl, Rudolf Hoess, among the most horrible murderers in history, and you find that the "loud stupidity" to them was a system for them to succeed in. In other words, even though they sent millions to their deaths, they were following a sort of quiet logic -- the logic of opportunism unchecked by any moral logic. The quiet logic was arriving by the trainloads...
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 08:22 am
This doesn't leave me. It seems to me that war is an ambiguous time for philosophical concepts. Each term of some importance (logic, ethics, responsibility...) is corrupted and abused by both sides as well as thouroughly explored and rediscovered in its true meaning and importance. War gives ideas a sharper edge, while nobody remains shallow in the face of death, personal or not, or confronted with horror on such a scale. I know I'm often shallow and that's just me, I don't even blame it on the quiet place and time that are the scenery of my life. Good times are never to be blamed, and the pseudo-nietzschean who wants a more dangerous time for the deployment of his qualities should imagine a baby in the gas-chamber. Yet I want to mention one thing that struck me, and I'm even fairly sure about this. The true theme of this dispute is not logic versus loud stupidity, and their respective nature or quality or merit, but it is about POWER and how to obtain it. Logic is a certain way of thinking that ought to rule, and those who can be "logical" are those who ought to rule; it's as old as Plato and it is rediscovered by each generation. Logic becomes ideology here and each ideology is a fertile ground for arrogance and oppression. If others want their part of the cake we simply call their way of thinking loud stupidity. And in this eternal battle between Light and Darkness some must rule and some must be crushed. When Lincoln says in the heath of politics:

"'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt."

this could as well been said by Baldur van Schirach in an enlightened moment. So it seems for some that mankind is divided in people who are logical and thus clever and people who are ill- or less logical and who are thus stupid? I esteem logic for what it is and for what it does, but i would never see it as the basis of true (moral) humanity. I believe some terribly overestimate logic and consciously abuse the concept for various reasons, mostly as a disguise for their lust for power. I believe in other things, that some may call illogical but that for me are pretty real, and that are equally valuable on a broader scale. But these are just another two cents...
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 09:37 am
I don't think logic is the be all and end all in a community. I think consensus is most important, because there is no peace without consensus, at least not for long. Empathy is critical as well.

The problem with logic is that it doesn't give us a tool to decide between innumerable competing needs and problems and vantage points. That doesn't mean we should abandon it, but we should also see it as one of many tools of good governance.
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:21 pm
I don't know whether or not Baldur could have articulated such a thought. I'm certain he wasn't on par with Lincoln generally, but he easily might have said something to the effect of, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Which is close, although not as nicely put.

Anyways, I agree that power always claims to have the smarts on their side and the opposition is always the slow witted, uniformed types. Almost always, at least. I suppose the powerful might just be content to project their brute strength and leave the weaklings to argue over their bookish ways while he picks his teeth with his broadsword. It is possible.

The problem I have with the question is the answer is contained in the question. Loud stupidity can only win out over thoughtful logic, because well, thoughtful logic didn't speak. Or maybe, on the day of their job interviews, thoughtful logic forgot to put on his pants and loud stupidity impressed his new boss with the story of how, this one time, he got soooo wasted.

---------- Post added at 07:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:21 PM ----------

Aedes wrote:
The problem with logic is that it doesn't give us a tool to decide between innumerable competing needs and problems and vantage points.

I certainly dispute this. I'm tempted to say that we're trying to use logic to exactly that end now. QED

I think logic, or intelligence, or habits of good thinking, or whatever you want to call it, is in my top three things required for good government. It may even be number one, I'm not sure. Empathy is up there too. I probably want consensus to come last, because what is the point of agreeing if we are not already right?
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 08:30 pm
Wouldn't this be the time to state PRECISELY what we see as "logic"? And distinguish the subjective element from real definition? This could be more relevant to this section and remove some bad misunderstandings. Just a suggestion.
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 11:58 am
[quote=YumClock]Yes, if you're referring to these boards, then I believe you're honestly barking up the wrong tree.[/quote]
YumClock wrote:

If not, then "loud stupidity" is actually expertly done. It's the manipulation (positive or not) of emotions, the confidence of the speaker...
Or, simply, that you can never convince someone of something they don't believe. So you reiterate what they already "know."
This doesn't belong on the logic boards, because none of the answers will be strictly logical.

To be clear, the original post was not in reference to anything on these boards. I was frustrated with otherwise intelligent co-workers who appear to have a knee-jerk absorption of propaganda--hopping onto the new bandwagon, when it contradicts ideals they embraced just one day earlier. Appearing to embrace what Orwell called doublethink.

While I have some understanding of the phenomenon, I am still amazed at how quickly and fully someone can apparently switch tracks.

Anyway, I'm better now and this post can die as far as I'm concerned.
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 01:00 pm
I don't know if this is THE time, is it?
If a definition is what we are after, then try this on:
Logic is the science that deals with methods of thinking.
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 03:58 pm
I'm beginning to realise what I suggested. Oh boy ;-)

I only got time for a short reply now: "... deals with". Sounds rather judgmental to me, if not superfluous. Why not "Logic is the science of the methods of thinking". One could even make some explorative variations here: "Logic is the science of thinking", "Logic is the science of method", "Logic is a method for thinking" (a? the?), etc. etc.

The problem being that I don't understand these words for a bit: science, method, thinking. I think I won't be alone. Perhaps a definition? Nah, this is not the place and the time. Besides it has all been done before.

For me "logic" is an abused word, period. But all words are abused, and that may be the essence of what we call discourse. Logic is like a label that doesn't stick well anymore, because it was stuck on too many clothes. Perhaps the only way to save it is to narrow it down to "formal logic", all those p's and q's have their own (ir)relevance and (in)significance. I admire the eggheads who can play with them, but I also think there are people suffering.

Logic can never become a machinegun in your back, or a bullet in your brain. It is not thinking if it cages your mind, instead of freeing it. Two plus two cents make four ;-)

Perhaps the next definition should confess to be a hypothesis?
Reply Wed 6 May, 2009 05:10 pm
I don't understand you now, but that will pass.
Reply Mon 11 May, 2009 04:49 pm
chad3006;58678 wrote:
Why does loud stupidity seem to trump thoughtful logic?

Cause it's simple to grasp and people are stupid.

There you go.
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:39 am
People aren't stupid. Most people are stupid. All of the stupid people are stupid and some of the smart ones too.

How about cause the dummy keeps leading into stupid's voids?
He has two voids, major and minor.
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 12:42 pm
I think there needs to be a (HUH?) button for posts like the above.
What are you talking about?
Reply Fri 15 May, 2009 11:20 pm
Ah, just a bad joke. My weaker moments, forget I said anything.

Incidentally, I agree with you about the Huh? button. It would save a considerable amount of time for everyone. The downside I guess, if there was to be one, would be opportunities for abuse of the button. I can readily imagine some of us developing an over reliance on such a time saving, not to mention universally useful device. If there were a limit on the number of times one could use it during given time periods, it would keep us from losing our ability to form the more elaborate ways of expressing our total and unending befuddlement. I suppose this all academic, though.
Reply Sat 6 Jun, 2009 12:17 am
You really don't "know" if it's logic, because we do not know anything at all, we only theorize. Likewise, stupidity is easier to achieve than perceptive logic and understanding of the universe. Living the same, living life in an order that is most easy, is the rudimentary and solid life for most, which isn't healthy. If we do not grow, we die off eventually "mentally."

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