203: Logic Saves Lives Part 10 – The Elephant and the Rider


Picture: The alternative name and nutritional value of most online, cable news, political and religious debates.

Logic is about understanding reality in a non-contradictory way and how can we see things for what they are.

Metaphysical Laws

A conversation about balancing a knowledge of logic with emotional intelligence and effective communication strategies. It originates from a forum post in the Logic Saves Lives Group called "Using logical fallacies as a form of bullying."

We watch and discuss this video:

Authenticity: (how NVC becomes natural)
Do you want to want to have a meaningful connection with the person?
What are your intentions? NVC is not a script; it's a language that you speak to yourself first. If you're not interested in cooperating or even connecting with a person or acknowledging their humanity, using NVC language will not work.

Fallacies Covered:
Fallacy Fallacy
Presupposition/Loaded Language
Straw Man Fallacy
Reductio ad Absurdum

Look Closer:

lifeishowitis's channel


The argumentative theory of reasoning


Complete Liberty Podcast


Logical Fallacies Handlist

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem (Summary)

How Cognitive Distortions Cause Emotional Distress

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence


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  1. Great show. You handled a delicate subject with a lot of empathy and showed your depth of knowledge on issues of logic and relationships. Just a glance at the show notes gives an idea of the areas where I can learn more and develop my interpersonal and (less importantly) debating skills.

  2. Hey Brett,
    Definitely, this is a favorite show. I was the UStream guy who typed in all caps that you mention at 8:50 into this episode (just me), mentioning the Trivium, mentioning NVC and their respective worth in helping the “Liberty Movement” in some practical ways. I’ve been hoping to discuss the ramifications of these two topics with you some day, in terms of consistency of thought and the solidity of harmonious interpersonal connections and collaborations. My name is Darrell, and I’ve set up the NVC group in your awesome new website, I’m a member of Tragedy and Hope dot com and a longtime listener and viewer of your work, which I’ve been appreciating since you appeared the first time on Gnostic Media. I believe you covered some important aspects of applied Trivium skills and the necessity for both Trivium and NVC to be internal, first, and interpersonal second, generally speaking.

    I appreciated the way you demonstrated the alienating aspects of debating someone, and I have found a useful comparison chart showing the differential between debate and discussion, and how to consciously aim for discussion and avoid creating or perpetuating a debate.

    I published this link with my first post inside the NVC group, where there are several useful links to help people quickly acquire these skills. I hope you find it interesting and helpful with learning the “Language of Connection” (as well as learning abou the nuts and bolts of the “Language of Obligation”, posted more recently). You seem to grasp many of these concepts, and I laughed aloud as I heard you mention yourself from episodes 1 – 150 as being “guilty” of the “crimes” that the woman above in her youtube (“lifeishowitis”) is “indicting” those who ignore the aspect of their own and other people’s feelings as “illogical and irrelevant”. I’ve enjoyed your humbleness amidst your pride, over these years, and I appreciate the genuine nature of how you have shown aspects of your own missed opportunities of connection, especially to people who hold strongly to radically different conclusions than you do. Thanks again for a great show. I hope this was cogent enough πŸ™‚

  3. For me, the thoughts of one of the speakers is a great example on how logic is used to create problems in what could be a fruitful conversation. Reductio ad absurdum is largely used to debunk positions that nobody holds.

    If one believes in self-defense, you could make it absurd by showing that they must believe that if someone lays a finger on you, then you must have the right to shoot that person in the face. Similarly, if one believes in peaceful parenting, you could say that they couldn’t grab their child’s arm if they were about to run into traffic because that would be aggressive, but of course, they would do this so showing how this would be bad practice wouldn’t be useful. I don’t see the fruitfulness of this route. It is as if one person says “you can live in space on the ISS for an extended period of time” and you explaining to them that humans cannot live without oxygen.

    Anywho, thanks for the podcast. I did get a bit overly emotional on the video so I hope you’ll forgive. I appreciate the attention to the subject; it is not always the most welcomed in liberty circles.

  4. I think one of the speakers highlighted one of the problems that I have with the use of logical fallacies in conversation. Reductio ad absurdum is a tactic largely used to debunk positions that nobody holds and can shut off what could otherwise be a fruitful conversation.

    For instance, if one believe in self-defense, a person could say that you believe that if someone lays a single finger on you, that you believe you have the right to shoot them. Or if you believe in peaceful parenting, that you cannot grab your child’s arm before they run into traffic because that would be aggressive. These are positions that people don’t really hold, so debunking them doesn’t do much in the way of explaining why a person’s actual position is wrong. It is like a person says “you can live in space on the ISS for extended periods of time” and you replying “humans need oxygen to survive.” It misses the nuance of the point trying to be made and doesn’t do much in the way of understanding.

    Anywho, thanks for the podcast. I appreciate you taking the time to watch some of my videos. I did get a bit overly emotional; I hope that can be forgiven. I largely try to stay as calm as I can but it doesn’t always work. This is a subject that doesn’t get enough attention in liberty circles, or really any ideological circles, so I am really happy about the emphasis on it.

    Beautiful day,

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