Logic and reason are the only objective means to solving a complex problem.
I know I’m dominating you with my normative behavior and talk, but here’s why this is regressive:

Hi Pax,

I read with interest your response to John Metta’s recent piece. You made the statement above that “Logic and reason are the only objective means to solving a complex problem.” I’m curious if you have any evidence to back up that fascinating claim.

I’m a big fan of reason myself. I also like feelings. To me, the best conversations are ones that include a bit of both, and where each participant feels like their essential humanity is being respected even if their views are challenged.

Conversely, the worst ones are ones in which the participants claim to be purely rational and demonstrably correct while actually creating arguments full of logical fallacies, cognitive bias, and very thinly veiled hostility.

Another type of terrible conversation is the one you described, where one person has to passively accept everything the other person says and has no way to participate at all. Luckily I have never experienced that. Instead, I’ve participated in conversations that have norms of behavior that are unfamiliar to me and in which I can’t set the agenda or have it go my way. I’ve learned a lot from those conversations even when they’ve been deeply uncomfortable.

Have a great day!

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