Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Inhumanity of Logic

As I sit here, I am watching a show about the Apollo 11 journey to the moon in 1969. I would argue that this is the single most important accomplishment of humanity. While some may see it as a triumph of science, it is also a triumph of foolishness.

Ground control of the flight operated off of a computer that occupied an entire floor of the building yet had less computing power than laptops made today. The Apollo 11 ship itself had computer systems only slightly more powerful than a modern wristwatch.

I can also paraphrase an expert who said that if a group came forward with the same plan, the same materials, and the same experience today, they would not be allowed to do it because it would be deemed too dangerous.

We can understand why. We don’t want people launching rockets that could level several city blocks without some level of safety. But the fact remains: the accomplishment was illogical.

Human beings are not logical, and frankly I am sick and tired of people acting like logic is their god. I’m also a little sick of being associated with logic because I’m an atheist. If I tell you to “fuck off,” it’s not a literal suggestion, it’s my polite way of saying “I want to rip off your face and dance naked while wearing it in my bathroom while ‘My Cherie Amour’ by Stevie Wonder blares in the next room.”

Human beings are not logical. We are not computers. We cannot survive on the bare minimum. We cannot endure dehumanizing conditions by reasoning to ourselves that it shouldn’t bother us.

Human beings are unhinged receptacles housing phobias, prejudice, hate, love, ideals, egos, ticks, urges, desires, addictions, denials, preferences, favorites, likes, dislikes… I could go on.

Still think we’re logical, don’t you? Even though we drip with emotions, passions, fetishes, flaws, shame, apathy, nihilism, belief, ignorance, naivety, indoctrination, socialization, cultural bias…

Never trust someone who says they only use logic to formulate their ideas, because we don’t live in a logical world. Logic isn’t some evil thing, it’s just not the end all, be all in ideology. And if that seems illogical, maybe that’s because I’m human. It wasn’t logical to cross a vast sea. It wasn’t logical to attack the most powerful nation on Earth to gain independence. It wasn’t logical to go to the moon.

I’ll stand by illogic until it lets me down.

Ad Perfectionem Per Insaniam


  1. My one nitpick here is that applying to today technological levels to those of 1969 and concluding that it was illogical to attempt a trip to the moon is, itself, illogical. ~Spock eyebrow~ By the technology of the time, the mission team determined they had the tech, resources, skills, and equipment needed to do the job. They were right. Of course it was risky and bold. But even if it had failed, I wouldn't have said it was illogical to try. You can argue that in the context of the Space Race with the Russians, their was purely political pressure to get the job done (illogical except perhaps in a strategic, political gamesmanship sense) ... but the fact that we're emotional creatures doesn't mean we can't use logic nonetheless.

  2. There's nothing wrong with using logic, but most people can't tell the difference between logic and rationalizing things to themselves.

  3. most people can't tell the difference between logic and rationalizing things to themselves.

    And that there sums it up.


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