Book Review: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Novels & Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Veritable Critical Thinking Continuum Wrapped Up In Fiction

SherlockHolmes
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 20, 2017

Ironically, it was through the most serendipitous of circumstances that this novel was suggested to me.  Following a lengthy discourse with my economics professor a long time ago in which I asked what he thought was the best way to learn logic, he, in his classic fashion, suggests not a textbook, but Sherlock Holmes!  At the time, thought it was a joke myself.  Interestingly enough, he wasn’t joking.

Here, now, many years later, the adventures of Sherlock Holmes were the way that yours truly was introduced to logic, and great fiction to boot, too.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s magnum opus, Sherlock Holmes, features characters that are rather unique but very believable; the setting is always top-tier and authentic, the mysteries abound, and there’s puzzles wrapped in enigmas all woven into phenomenal fiction as well.  This is one of the great reasons rereading this series is so easy and serves as a fictional fall back for reading, especially when a lot of modern fiction is quite lacking.

In more modern times, there have been great mystery writers, and many imitators in countless ways, but none has truly come close to creating a fun, readable, witty, critical thinking, logical, and intriguing series in the way that Arthur Conan Doyle did when the Sherlock Holmes series.  Those who attempt to follow in the author’s footsteps fall quite short, even when the authors have a template of what worked in the past.  This is why, after my third reading of this series, it’s still a great as ever, and nothing really compares.  And what’s more, there’s always something to learn from it, too.

Let’s boil it down.  Great fiction is great, because it allows wonder, and sparks the imagination like nothing else.  Sherlock Holmes definitely creates an auspicious and believable adventure upon which any curious mind would love to venture.

This fictional series does way more than that though.  If it had only sparked imagination, it would have been a really good, or even great series.  But even so, it offers so much more.  Sherlock Holmes is a veritable crashcourse into how to critically think and employ logic, wrapped up in a fantastic fictional package that is as timeless as it is robust.

For me, this book falls within what Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren referred to as the top tier of books.  As the authors note in their landmark How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading:

“Of the few thousand such books there is a much smaller number – here the number is probably less than a hundred – that cannot be exhausted by even the very best reading you can manage.  How do you recognize this?  Again it is rather mysterious, but when you have closed the book after reading analytically to the best of your ability, and place it back on the shelf, you have a sneaking suspicion that there is more there than you got….In fact, you cannot put your finger on it, but you know it is there.  You find that you cannot forget the book, that you keep thinking about it and your reaction to it.  Finally, you return to it.  And remarkable things happen.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Furthermore, the authors elucidate:

“…if the book belongs to the highest class – the very small number of inexhaustible books – you discover on returning that the book seems to have grown with you.  You see new things in it – whole new sets of new things – that you did not see before.  Your previous understanding of the book is not invalidated; it is just as true as it ever was, and in the same ways that it was true before.  But now it is true in still other ways, too.”[2] [Bold Emphasis Added]

For me, this book – all of its fictional stories – accomplishes all of the above and more.

Sure, there are many other books that offer many life lessons, and the classics are riddled with them. However, none teach the individual the foundation for critical thinking and logic like Sherlock Holmes does.  This is why this stands above and beyond countless other books when it comes to those two crucial points for me personally.

If you homeschool, if you’re an autodidact, a self-directed learner, or simply someone that wants to read a great book, then read this.  You will not regret it.

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Footnotes:

[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, p. 333.
[2] Ibid., p. 333.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

 

Logic In The Matrix: The Declaration Of Independence

logic3
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
February 26, 2017

Logic, these days, has been replaced in schools with a mind-control apparatus that involves the following:

EVERY POINT OF VIEW IS EQUAL.

EVERYBODY HAS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE WHOLE.

TRUE CRITICAL THINKING, WHICH IS THE EXCLUSIVE TERRITORY OF THE INDIVIDUAL, LEAVES PEOPLE OUT OF THE GROUP AND IS THEREFORE PREJUDICIAL.

If you favor this new formulation and think it’s useful, I have condos on Jupiter for sale.

The point of modern education, more and more, is the GROUP.

“Good people belong to the group.”

“The Group is everything.”

“If you don’t belong to the Group, you have a mental disorder.”

Why is all this emphasis put on the Group?

The answer to that question also gives you the reason logic isn’t taught in schools anymore:

The independent self-sufficient individual is being phased out.

The independent individual who knows how to think and make lucid judgments on his own is a threat to the EMERGING RELIGION OF GLOBALISM.

The emerging religion of Globalism is a fuzzy image of THE GROUP.

The hive.

The colony.

The nest.

The planet.

Some people think education has been hijacked for the purpose of training children to become robotic workers for the State. That’s partly true, but education is also the proving ground for the religion of the Group.

This religion doesn’t need or want logic. Logic would be disruptive. It would differentiate one student from another. It would reveal there are ways to analyze information that actually come to valid conclusions. Logic isn’t fuzzy. It doesn’t promote the all-inclusive hive.

A year ago, I spoke to a teacher who was introducing his class to logic. He told me, “These are very bright kids. They’re all going to college. They said they couldn’t learn logic. They couldn’t do it. They had some kind of mental block.”

As we talked further, it became obvious that the mental block was an idea of THE GROUP. These kids had already been indoctrinated into “cooperative thought.” They instinctively realized that, if they studied logic, the Group would break apart. Each student would have to stand on his own, and that prospect was frightening.

In the religion of the Group, one of the key concepts is “the sustainability of the planet,” a catchphrase which is the leading edge of a vast movement to decide how the individual, as a UNIT, an energy-consuming UNIT, will be regulated in the overall scheme of things.

The individual’s life will be ruled by decisions of the “wise ones,” who understand how to distribute all the available resources of the planet.

I’ve actually had students tell me, in their fumbling way, that they have an obligation to think like everyone else. Or if they’re rebels, they have a duty to rebel like other rebels.

Logic is a sword that cuts through all that. It wakes up the sleeping mind. It doesn’t paint vague pictures. It has nothing to do with what the Group thinks or has been taught to think.

Logic isn’t a cooperative enterprise. That’s why it was exiled from school systems a long time ago.

I’ve talked to many teachers (I used to teach school) who tell me they lead their students on this basis: “we’re all in this together.”

It sounds nice, but it has nothing to do with education. It’s a con. It’s a way of avoiding teaching. Once a teacher walks down that road, he’s finished. He’s regressing back to being a child. He’s forfeiting his position. He’s involved in socializing. It can work for a picnic but not for school.

The cooperative spirit in the classroom is the prelude to the religion of the Group. “We’re all in this together” is the initial sales pitch.

I remember, 40 years ago, I had an argument with a teacher who was very annoyed that I was attacking the “spirit of the group” concept. He was absolutely convinced that the atmosphere he promoted in his classroom…

Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Book Review: The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.

thetrivium
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 24, 2017

In their How To Read A Book – The Classical Guide To Intelligent Reading [review here], Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren postulated that most published books out there will not be complex enough to teach the reader anything of true substance.

However, the authors also argued that there is a second tier of books “from which you can learn – both how to read and how to live.”[1] Am venturing to say that The Trivium is one of those books, from which an immense amount can be learned because of its inherent nature of all it teaches.

The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D., is an exemplary book that touches topics which do not get the light of day in modern times, although surely did centuries ago.

As this passage by Marguerite McGlinn relates, which speaks incisively:

“Ultimately, Sister Miriam Joseph speaks most eloquently about the value of this book.  She explains that studying the liberal arts [The Trivium] is an intransitive activity; the effect of studying these arts stays within the individual and perfects the faculties of the mind and spirit.  She compares the studying of the liberal arts with the blooming of the rose; it brings to fruition the possibilities of human nature.  She writes, “The utilitarian or servile arts enable one to be a servant – of another person, of the state, of a corporation, or a business – and to earn a living.  The liberal arts, in contrast, teach one how to live; they train the faculties and bring them to perfection; they enable a person to rise above his material environment to live an intellectual, a rational, and therefore a free life in gaining truth.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

The book doesn’t just speak of The Trivium, but shows all of its main components to boot, and furthermore how to employ them.

By covering the vital topics of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, The Trivium goes above and beyond most books that are ‘mandatory’ in the public school system.

Given that the once mandatory subjects of rhetoric and logic are all but gone from mainstream education and only shadows of those remains while what is taught of grammar is very superficial, a book like this blows away anything that regular schooling could offer.

Why such a bold statement?  Because the Trivium is the foundation upon which classical education was built.  However, after a shift away from these tenets, the Trivium has been removed from the system of public schooling to the detriment of the students.

In any case, The Trivium features not only a very methodical approach into the learning/teaching of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric, but the book is also chock-full of myriad examples coming straight from the upper tiers of literary history which are used to cement each component of the Trivium.

Further, not only does this book explain in detail the core concepts of the Trivium, but at certain junctures it even offers some exercises in order to apply what one has learned and gauge an individual’s progress.

The Trivium is really a thorough presentation that encompasses everything from poetics, fallacies, syllogisms, propositions, grammar, composition, enthymemes and much much more.

If you’re a homeschooler, an unschooler, an autodidact, a self-teacher, or simply someone that is seeking to teach someone, or simply wish to learn about these integral components of education, then ruminate deeply about getting this book.  Its lessons would benefit every individual come to terms with the greater capability that they always could have, but never found a way to achieve through the terribly lacking public schooling system.

Those seeking additional educational tools may appreciate:

Socratic Logic [V3.1] by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
A Workbook For Arguments [2nd Edition] – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking by David R. Morrow & Anthony Wesson
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

Each of these books will build a more robust mental repertoire, and are highly recommended for everyone.

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Sources & References:
[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book, Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren. p. 332.
[2] Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.,The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric, pp. x-xi.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

13 Great Reasons To Study Logic

logic3
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2017

In age where the public dumbing down is reaching new lows [Read Here For More], a much more proactive approach to an individuals education is vitally needed.  This will certainly aid them in gravitating away from the crumbling education paradigm that keeps failing us, because, as John Taylor Gatto stated in A Different Kind Of Teacher [Review Here]:

Schools were designed by Horace Mann, E.L. Thorndike, and others to be instruments of scientific management of a mass populationSchools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlledTo a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

In other words, school system is about social engineering the masses, and not producing educated individuals.

Furthermore, as Professor Patrick Deneen shared in his landmark piece, How A Generation Lost Its Common Culture:

“Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings”[2][Emphasis Added]

It isn’t by accident that the school system has reached the state of decline it has.

Knowing that, what’s an individual to do?  Go back to the roots.

For this, there is no better place to go but to the realm of logic.

Why is Logic so vital?

To answer this poignant question, let’s take a look at the work of Philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D has to to say.  Kreeft, in his phenemonal book called Socratic Logic [Review Here] outlines the many reasons why logic is important to an individuals growth.

Kreeft minces no words in stating that in the past, most students were privy to was called “the old logic”.  Due to this, those individuals were much better prepared to “think, read, write, organize, and argue much better than they can today”.[3]

Getting back to classical education, which employed The Trivium – composed of Logic, Grammar & Rhetoric – is what will ultimately help individuals break away from the downward avalanche public schooling is manifesting.  And Logic undoubtedly is an integral component of The Trivium.

Please ruminate at length regarding what follows.  It shows how and why logic seeps into all areas of life.

Below follow salient reasons why to study Logic:

13 Good Reason Why You Should Study Logic

1. Logic brings order.

Logic builds the mental habit of thinking in an orderly way.

No course is more practical than logic, for no matter what you are thinking about, you are thinking, and logic orders and clarifies your thinking.  No matter what your thought’s content, it will be clearer when it has a more logical form.  The principles of thinking logically can be applied to all thinking and to every field.

2.  Logic brings power.  Logic brings the power of proof and persuasion.

The power of logic comes from the fact that it is the science and art of argument.  Any power can be either rightly used or abused.  This power of logic is rightly used to win the truth and defeat error; it is wrongly used to win the argument and defeat your opponent.

3.  Logic helps reading. Logic will help you in education and learning, for “logic will help you to read any book more clearly and effectively.  And you are always going to be reading books; books are the single most effective technological invention in the history of education.

On the basis of over 40 years of full time college teaching of almost 20,000 students at 20 different schools, I am convinced that one of the reasons for the steep decline in students’ reading ability is the decline in the teaching of traditional logic.

4.  Logic helps writing.  Logic will also help you to write more clearly and effectively, for clear writing and clear thinking are a “package deal”: the presence or absence of either one brings the presence or absence of the other.  Muddled writing fosters muddled thinking, and muddled thinking fosters muddled writing.  Clear writing fosters clear thinking, and clear thinking fosters clear writing.  Common sense expects this, and scientific studies confirm it.  Writing skills have declined dramatically in the 40 years or so since symbolic logic has replaced Aristotelian logic, and I am convinced this is no coincidence.

It is simply impossible to communicate clearly and effectively without thinking clearly and effectively.  And that means logic.”

5.  Logic brings happiness.  In a small but significant way, logic can even help you attain happiness.  We all seek happiness all the time because no matter what else we seek, we seek it because we think it will be a means to happiness, or a part of happiness, either for ourselves or for those we love.  And no one seeks happiness for any other end; no one says he wants to be happy in order to be rich, or wise, or healthy.  But we seek riches, or wisdom, or health, in order to be happier.

How can logic help us attain happiness?  Here is a very logical answer to that question:

(1)  When we attain what we desire, we are happy
(2)  And whatever we desire, whether Heaven or a hamburger, it is more likely that we will attain if it we think more clearly.
(3)  And logic helps us to think more clearly.
(4)  Therefore logic helps us to be happy.

Even fantasy is not illogical.  In fact, according to the greatest master of this art, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Fantasy is a rational, not an irrational, activity…creative fantasy is founded upon a hard recognition that things are so in the world as it appears under the sun; on a recognition of fact, but not a slavery to it.  So upon logic was founded the nonsense that displays itself in the tales and rhymes of Lewis Carroll.  If men really could not distinguish between frogs and men, fairy stories about frog-kings would not have arisen.”

6.  Logic helps with religious faith.  Even religion, though it goes beyond logic, cannot go against it; if it did, it would literally be unbelievable.  Some wit defined “faith” as “believing what you know isn’t true.”  But we simply cannot believe an idea to be true that we know that has been proven to be false by a valid logical proof.

It is true that faith goes beyond what can be proved by logical reasoning alone.  That is why believing in any religion is a free personal choice, and some make that choice while others do not, while logical reasoning is equally compelling for all.  However, logic can add faith in at least three ways.

First, logic can often clarify what is believed, and define it.

Second, logic can deduce the necessary consequences of the belief and apply it to difficult situations.

Third, even if logical arguments cannot prove all that faith believes, they can give firmer reasons for faith than feeling, desire, mood, fashion, family or social pressure, conformity, or inertia.

7.  Logic helps attain wisdom.  “Philosophy” means “the love of wisdom.”  Although logic alone cannot make you wise, it can help.  For logic is one of philosophy’s main instruments.  Logic is to philosophy what telescopes are to astronomy or microscopes to biology or math to physics.

8.  Democracy.  There are even crucial social and political reasons for studying logic.  As a best-selling modern logic text says, “the success of democracy depends, in the end, on the reliability of the judgments we citizens make, and hence upon our capacity and determination to weigh arguments and evidence rationally.”  As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a republican nation, whose citizens are to be lead by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of reason becomes of the first importance.”[Copi & Cohen, Logic, 10th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1998.).

9.  Defining logic’s limits.  Does logic have limits?  Yes, but we need logic to recognize and definite logic’s limits.  Logic has severe limits.  We need much more than logic even in our thinking.  For instance, we need intuition, too.  But logic helps us recognize this distinction.

10.  Logic helps in testing authority.  We need authorities because no individual can discover everything autonomously  We do in fact rely on the human community, and therefore on the authority of others – parents, teachers, textbooks, “experts,” friends, history, and tradition – for a surprising large portion of what we know – perhaps up to 99%, if it can be quantified.  And that is another reason we need logic: we need to have good reasons for believing our authorities, for in the end it is you the individual who must decide which authorities to trust.

11.  Logic helps recognizing contradictions.  Logic teaches us which ideas contradict each other.  If we are confused about that, we will either be too exclusive (that is, we will think beliefs logically exclude each other when they do not) or too inclusive (that is, we will believe two things that cannot both be true).

12.  Logic brings certainty.  Logic has “outer limits”; there are many things it can’t give you.  But logic has no “inner limits”: like math, it never breaks down.  Just as 2 plus 2 are unfailingly 4, so if A is B and B is C, then A is unfailingly C, Logic is timeless and unchangeable.  It is certain.

And logic never becomes obsolete. The principles of logic are timelessly true.

13.  Logic helps one attain truth.  Logic helps us to find truth, and truth is its own end: it is worth knowing for its own sake.

Logic helps us to find truth, though it is not sufficient of itself to find truth.  It helps us especially (1) by demanding that we define our terms so that we understand what we mean, and (2) by demanding that we give good reasons, arguments, proofs.[4]

In the age of information, ignorance is no excuse.

And Logic, more than anything else, helps eviscerate that ignorance in a way that nothing else can.

That’s exactly why its been removed from the public school system, and exactly why all individuals need to employ it into their repertoire.

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Sources & References:

[1] John Taylor Gatto, A Different Kind Of Teacher, p. 16.
[2] Professor Patrick Deneen, How A Generation Lost Its Culture
[3] Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Socratic Logic, p. 1.
[4] Ibid., pp. 1-7.

Book Review: Socratic Logic [V3.1] by Peter Kreeft PhD

An Indispensable Piece For The Autodidact; A Vital Component To Education For Individuals Of All Ages

socraticlogic
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 17, 2017

Having not taken a logic course since the university, attempting to find a book on logic that would be ‘worth its weight in gold’ took a bit of time, but this particular book has more than delivered in spades.

Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft PhD is an essential reading for anyone who values the use of logic.  In fact, going one step further, this book should be read by everyone, because we could all benefit from it in many ways.  Mostly though, most of us have not been taught logic in elementary nor high school, and rarely in college, especially how it was taught in the past.   This is taking place because logic, as well as the trivium have been nigh completely removed from most school curriculums and when they do have these courses, they are merely a facsimile of it, and nowhere near the quality of logic taught in times past.  You can conjecture yourself why this has taken place.

Moving forward, this particular book showcases a very in-depth approach into all the nuances that logic involves, while also keeping it simple so to speak.   Describing the book as ‘simple’ might be a misnomer, but when compared to The Organon by Aristotle, which is a much more complex/demanding read, this seems like a ‘walk in the park’.

Kreeft makes it a point to give the individual everything they might need to comprehend logic, sprinkled generously with many real world examples, historical quotes and issues that will make the book quite practical in its application once the concepts are mastered and implemented into one’s repertoire.

Socratic Logic serves as an excellent jump-off point into the realm of logic due to the pragmatic approach taken by Kreeft.

As the author himself states, the book is: simple, user friendly, practical, linguistic, readable, traditional, commonsensical, philosophical, constructive, clearly divided, flexible, short, selective, interactive, holistic, and classroom oriented [if the individual so decides], and those descriptions were rather apt.

Conveniently, the book also features a differentiation where one can find the basic sections (B) and the philosophical sections (P) marked in the table of contents.  This helps greatly in focusing on whatever specific area the reader might want to hone their skills in.

Also of note, the book – as mentioned by Kreef – may be used in at least 10 different ways:

[1] the basics only
[2] the basic sections plus the philosophical sections
[3] the basic sections plus the more advanced sections in logic
[4] the basic sections plus the practical application sections
[5] the basic sections plus any two of these three additions
[6] all of the book
[7] all or some of it supplemented by a text in symbolic logic
[8] all or some of it supplemented by a text in inductive logic
[9] all or some of it supplemented by a text in rhetoric or informal logic
[10] all or some of it supplement by readings in and applications to the great philosophers

What one gathers from the book will depend greatly on how much time one chooses to spend on it.  Socratic Logic may be studied independently for an autodidact, or used for schooling.  The book can be studied in single class lessons, once a week class lessons, semester formats, etc.

Another useful element in the book is that if featured a healthy amount of exercises throughout the book in order to further buttress one’s understanding of the material.  This definitely helps hammer in the concepts shown in the book with precision.

Taking all into account, Socratic Logic should have been the book taught in school.  In fact, it should be taught to everyone because our society lacks logic in myriad ways.  Then again, that is what happens with the removal of classical education and logic from the common-to-the-rotten-core type of school system we’re all “lucky” to have.

In the information age not being educated and not knowing foundational pieces of essential knowledge such as logic that venture into every crevice of our lives is folly.

And if conventional schooling continues on the downhill grade it’s at, knowledge in areas such as this will be worth more than its weight in gold, and that’s not an understatement.  With the student loans costing over a trillion dollars, and with real education dissipating right before our eyes within the conventional establishment, taking your education into your hands is not only responsible, but vital.

To seek or further one’s education is a choice, and luckily Socratic Logic makes it an easy to choice to make.

The Fallacy Of Circular Reasoning: A Vast Infection In Public Discourse

Is Circular Reasoning Always Fallacious? | GospelSpam.com
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
January 9, 2017

The simplest definition of circular reasoning is: assuming what you’re trying to prove.

But that makes no sense.

Exactly.

As an abstract example—it always rains in Seattle. Today, it’s cloudy in the city. Therefore, it’s going to rain today.

Not necessarily, unless you assume up front that it “always” rains in Seattle. You give the impression of proving it’s going to rain today, but actually you’re already assuming that.

How about this? Mayor X is a racist. When he says he hopes black people living in the city will help the police catch criminals by providing eyewitness testimony, he’s demeaning black people.

Well, no. He may be correct or incorrect in believing these residents will, in fact, make reports to the police, but his statement isn’t, on its own, racist—unless you assume, in advance, that the mayor IS racist.

And if you do assume he is, then you ought to provide evidence.

—To which some readers will reply, “What you’re talking about here is miles beyond what happens in real life. There is no thought in real life. There are just knee-jerk reactions.”

No, not among all people. Raising the level of logic and understanding is an extremely worthwhile activity, and it benefits those who can grasp the essentials.

Here is another example: “We know Senator X is guilty of the crime he’s charged with, because no one reaches the level of senator unless he’s been blackmailed for committing crimes.” There are people who would accept this as a given, but it’s spreading a generality over all senators. And furthermore, even if Senator X has committed crimes, that doesn’t means he’s guilty of the one he’s been charged with recently. Perhaps, for instance, he’s been charged in order to smear his reputation, because he’s supporting a bill that would endanger the profits of a large corporation.

Here are three slightly different versions of circular reasoning:

“There is no reason to allow Politician X to air his views on television talk shows. He doesn’t have a following because his ideas don’t make an impact.” Really? Perhaps his ideas make no impact because no one will allow him exposure on national television.

“If the herbal treatment you’re suggesting had value, it would have been studied and tested at universities.” Is that so? Maybe it wasn’t tested at universities because it did have potential value, and would present a challenge to pharmaceutical drugs.

“Europe doesn’t need a leader like him. He’s a divider, he sets people against each other, and we need unity.” Again, the person being marginalized is rejected by definition. Maybe he divides people because he’s the only one who will speak up against a unity based on submission and abject compliance.

How about this? “The science is settled, and here comes that professor with his crazy ideas.” The professor is defined as crazy and out of step. But maybe he’s the one who will show the science isn’t settled at all, or shouldn’t be.

“He’s all about money. We want a better society where everyone can share, but he wants to keep everything for himself. He’s a greedy capitalist. Capitalism is dead. It’s been discredited.” The person being attacked is buried under a welter of preconceptions, with no evidence offered as to why he’s “bad.”

In circular reasoning, the deception happens right at the beginning. That’s where the conclusion is embedded. Then, some appearance of reasoning and proof are advanced. But there is no reasoning or proof.

Here is an example I would call disguised circular reasoning. It’s a bit slippery: “Frank’s cousin Sam was convicted of bank fraud in 1998. Now Frank has been brought up on the same basic charge. Wouldn’t you say that’s a pretty odd coincidence?” Yes, it is odd, but if you’re going to imply Frank is guilty, you’re going to need more than his cousin’s conviction. A lot more. Some people would call this example guilt by association, and it is, but there is also the telltale assumption of “proof” right at the start, when there is no proof.

“Look, I just counted 27 articles in respected newspapers claiming that the Russians hacked the election. I mean, what else do you want? The facts are obvious. So this guy who comes along and says there is no evidence—he’s spreading fake news. That’s the other thing all these newspapers are talking about: the pernicious spread of fake news.” Same basic approach, used with a bit more complexity: pile on the preconceptions right from the get-go, and then make it seem as if actual reasoning and evidence are being supplied to demean the “denier.” This is also an example of the ad hominem fallacy: attack the person and ignore what he has to say.

Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

Fourth Open Letter To Home Schoolers

studying
Source:NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
January 6, 2017

These days, I’m coming across a phenomenon I call The Disconnected Mind more frequently.

In its most extreme form, it goes this way. I write a piece on the American Republic, and someone sends me an email that begins: “Yes, limited government is the foundation of the Republic. The oil spill is on the news all the time. I live in Michigan. I wish I had a dog. The government can’t afford to fix the potholes…”

What? Excuse me? Time out!

There are other forms of The Disconnected Mind. The most pervasive type stems from high school and college education. The student steps out into the world and quickly realizes he doesn’t have a clue about the way things work. All that education, and it seems to vanish behind him like vapor.

In this shaky situation, a young person gropes around for something to cling to. He encounters all sorts of quasi-philosophy and political propaganda—delivered by people who appear quite sure of themselves.

How does a newly minted adult assemble his attitude toward his own future? How does he fend off propaganda?

He’s missing one great asset. He can’t analyze information and separate the wheat from the chaff.

He thought he could back in school, but that turned out to be an illusion.

He’s paralyzed.

Part of the fault can be laid at the door of political correctness. The material he dealt with in school was sanitized and scrubbed. Any sentence that might have remotely offended some group was eliminated from text books.

He was operating in a pleasant abstract vacuum and he didn’t really know it. Now he pays the price.

It turns out that information comes in all shapes and sizes. Some of it drifts in on the breeze and some of it is launched from propaganda guns at high velocity.

A lot of it is disjointed. It contains holes that reflect the state of mind of the author. No one can really make sense out of it, because it wasn’t written to make sense. It was written to persuade.

In the end, most people surrender. They stagger under a particular umbrella of information, and they stop thinking. They consider themselves lucky because they’ve gotten out of the rain.

In retrospect, their prized education was almost worthless. It was, at best, a huge waste of time.

All in all, I would say the most egregious problem people have with information is this: they can’t follow a train of thought. They can’t see there is “connective tissue” between several sequential ideas. They believe it’s all right to plug into an article at any point and see if they agree with what’s being said.

To grasp this state of affairs, imagine a person who gets on a train while it’s moving. He isn’t aware that the train started somewhere, will make certain stops, and end up at a terminal destination. He just jumps on.

The consequence? He winds up at a place he didn’t intend to. He comes to believe this is the journey of life. You arrive at a place and you get used to it. Other people say it’s a good place, so you buy into that.

There is another way.

It starts with a thorough course in logic. The student learns he can analyze information and see the flaws. He can dig into the logic and illogic of an argument its author is trying to make. He can follow a train of thought—or if there isn’t one, he can…

Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.