- The study of principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.
It’s a challenge to connect logic and rock climbing. I did make one attempt several years ago, but that was more for fun than anything. This time I wanted to try something a little different. Logicians bind themselves by certain sets of principles that when used properly can yield valuable results. The yielded results can have tremendously important implications in all aspects of life from making decisions to making laws.
Concerning the idea of ‘reasoning’ in our definition above, we typically regard this as a process of constructing arguments whereby statements are considered or offered in support of drawing a conclusion. Sometimes this is done with great rigor, and sometimes it’s plainly simple.
It would be plainly simple to reach the conclusion that I should wake up at 6:30 rather than 7:30 tomorrow morning. It would take much more effort to logically conclude that corporate aligned politicians are beneficial to their constituents. This is not to say that arguments grounded in logic are moving. Like our corporate aligned politicians have shown…if you can’t sway them with logic, then control them with emotion (fear seems to be increasingly effective)!
It seems that in matters of persuasion, emotion trumps logic in most instances. This is why the SPCA enlists the moving lyrics of Sarah McLachlan rather that the philosophical arguments of Peter Singer. This is why political rallies don’t usually put intellectuals on the dais, and this is why no matter how well you explain the safety precautions taken in rock climbing, you won’t convince someone with a fear of heights that climbing is the move for them1.
In addition to fear and emotion, comfort is a consistent foe to reason as well. Imagine trying to get someone who has been eating hotdogs the same way for years and years to change up their preference. “You might like it better” although rational is not enough to convince a creature of comfort to switch up their game plan. Food is just one example. I have a friend who has been climbing for a LOOOOOOOOOONG time. To watch this guy belay is a snapshot of how climbers used to do it in the 90’s. And his gear matches his old school technique. Regarding updated gear, and updated techniques the phrase ‘you might like it better’ has no chance of moving the needle.
Climbers often put reason second to emotion, myself included. Nagging injuries often plague climbers, and the knowledge that a few days or weeks off is necessary to properly heal is about as motivational as telling someone with acrophobia not to fear heights. It might be the rational thing to say, but downright lacks motivational gravity.
Emotional actions may not be ideally efficient, or beneficial in achieving desired ends, but it’s part of who we are. It has done me no good to get frustrated when logic takes a back seat to comfort, fear, or emotion. Understanding this is similar to understanding why people climb hard routes. Climbers may not take the most efficient routes to the top, but they get to where they need to be. Sometimes a little more battered, sometimes a little exhausted, but sometimes those are the things that make the route worth climbing.
- I tried put together a valid yet unconvincing proof that if rock climbing is not excessively scary, then we can conclude that it is exceptionally fun. From there we could argue that where exceptional fun is the goal, one shouldn’t be constrained by fear that isn’t excessive. (Like all logical arguments terms would need defining and agreement to determine soundness). – This argument is just for fun, although not exceptional fun.
Climbing is Unreasonably Terrifying or Immensely Enjoyable and Climbing is Excessively Scary or Exceptionally Fun. If Climbing is Unreasonably Terrifying, then Climbing is Excessively Scary, and If Climbing is Immensely Enjoyable then Climbing is Exceptionally Fun. Climbing is not Excessively Scary. If we can agree to these statements, then we could prove that Climbing is Exceptionally Fun.
- Unreasonably Terrifying or Immensely Enjoyable, and Excessively Scary or Exceptionally Fun.
- Terrifying -> Scary and Enjoyable -> Exceptionally Fun
- Not Excessively Scary/∴ Exceptionally Fun
- Unreasonably Terrifying or Immensely Enjoyable
- Excessively Scary or Exceptionally Fun
- Exceptionally Fun
- ~S /∴F
- TvE 1 Simp.
- SvF 2,4 CD
- F 3,5 DS