The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Logic-Dope

05/29/2020

For some reason, I took a sophomore course entitled “The Philosophy of Logic” and have always been glad I did.  The concept of syllogism has been helpful to me over the years.  (You’ll remember that as – if A, then B – if B, then C – therefore, if A, then C)  Still, it was an offhand remark by the professor that made a deeper impression.  She said “Prejudice is just ‘logic-dope’.  It is easier than thinking in the short run but ruinous in the long run.”

She wasn’t limiting the thought to racial prejudice alone.  There are all kinds of prejudice, which may even have a grain of truth but remain poor substitutes for thoughtful opinions.

For example, Democrats have a historical prejudice against greedy, heartless “big business” and immediately believe any negative information about big business, especially on pollution.  Republicans have a strong prejudice against “the media” and immediately believe any unpleasant coverage must be a conspiracy by the press.  They don’t believe money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10) but the media is.  Democrats think Republicans are stupid, while Republicans think Democrats are evil.  So easy and so ruinous!  It’s all just logic-dope!

Democrats still think in terms of robber barons and union-busters.  Republicans think of the media as quitters, who sought the profits of extremist views and abdicated the honor of straight, unbiased, & unprofitable reporting.  Democrats think Republicans are too close to racism, while Republicans think Democrats are too close to communism.  More logic-dope!

My long-dead professor said the only cure for logic-dope is silence.  If you hear it, ignore it.  You can reason with a thoughtful opinion but not with logic-dope.

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