Logic as Magical Thinking

These battles over definition are not taking place in the same universe as the one in which men throw around these terms online. But for the Logic Guys, the purpose of using these words — the sacred, magic words like “logic,” “objectivity,” “reason,” “rationality,” “fact” — is not to invoke the actual concepts themselves. It’s more a kind of incantation, whereby declaring your argument the single “logical” and “rational” one magically makes it so — and by extension, makes you both smart and correct, regardless of the actual rigor or sources of your beliefs.


For men, especially insecure and socially dislocated men, the idea of “rationality” can be a kind of comfort blanket. Raised from birth with the stereotype that they are more “analytically intelligent” (in contrast to women, who are “emotionally intelligent”), and with pop culture that venerates “logical” characters (on a just barely related note, please enjoy this novelty Leonard Nimoy song), it’s no wonder that many young men see “logic” as a sort of personality trait to achieve — one which automatically imbues all one’s opinions with correctness — rather than a system that one may or may not be following at any one time.

The “redpill” metaphor here is telling, because it implies that obtaining knowledge and arguing well is not a skill that is slowly and indefinitely improved upon, but an achievement to be unlocked in a single moment: once you’ve swallowed the pill, you turn into a smart person, and from then on, all your opinions are correct. (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a lot of figures popular in the “redpill” community also hawk nootropic supplements.)

An interesting parallel is the use of the term “the Enlightenment” to refer to an historical period of discovery in philosophy and the sciences — a period that is often referenced by self-identified logic lovers as a sort of single-use power-up by society: first we were all lying around in mud like the serfs in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, then we did the Enlightenment (and by “we,” of course, they mean white European men), and then everything was smart until Marxists and feminists and poststructuralists messed it all up.


To be honest, even though I’m not a man, this is a tendency I understand. People want to feel smart. Calling your opinions and feelings “rational,” as opposed to the “irrational” opinions and feelings of others, is a shortcut to boosting your self-esteem. And it’s certainly not as though this tendency is unique to reactionaries; I think we’re all prone to this sometimes. The key is to recognize this for what it is — nothing more than a bias that we must overcome, in order to clearly identify how exactly we came to a viewpoint, and whether it truly holds up to scrutiny. This is important for any recent convert, whether it’s to the Intellectual Dark Web, or communism, or Crossfit. We must not mistake our imagined transfiguration from Regular Person to Omniscient Wizard for reality.


Folksonomies: logical fallacy logic magical thinking

/law, govt and politics/politics (0.801750)
/religion and spirituality (0.664358)
/family and parenting/children (0.660891)

Logic Guys (0.622723 (:0.000000)), use of the term (0.610424 (:0.000000)), single moment (0.595432 (:0.000000)), novelty Leonard Nimoy song (0.589139 (:0.000000)), historical period of discovery (0.583834 (:0.000000)), sort of single-use power (0.575802 (:0.000000)), interesting parallel (0.562087 (:0.000000)), Monty Python (0.561596 (:0.000000)), Holy Grail (0.558058 (:0.000000)), sort of personality trait (0.557460 (:0.000000)), related note (0.556503 (:0.000000)), Logic (0.553269 (:0.000000)), young men (0.551173 (:0.000000)), pop culture (0.548482 (:0.000000)), lot of figures (0.547619 (:0.000000)), magic words (0.545406 (:0.000000)), logic lovers (0.544093 (:0.000000)), men (0.542478 (:0.000000)), kind of incantation (0.541254 (:0.000000)), white European men (0.533678 (:0.000000)), self-esteem (0.528762 (:0.000000)), tendency (0.520864 (:0.000000)), words (0.520267 (:0.000000)), smart person (0.517117 (:0.000000)), Enlightenment (0.516187 (:0.000000)), coincidence (0.515803 (:0.000000)), birth (0.515672 (:0.000000)), opinions (0.513777 (:0.000000)), purpose (0.512726 (:0.000000)), stereotype (0.512604 (:0.000000)), recent convert (0.511955 (:0.000000)), characters (0.511864 (:0.000000)), metaphor (0.511518 (:0.000000)), self (0.510915 (:0.000000)), women (0.510757 (:0.000000)), contrast (0.510706 (:0.000000)), feelings (0.510379 (:0.000000)), society (0.509781 (:0.000000)), terms (0.509503 (:0.000000)), mud (0.509270 (:0.000000)), serfs (0.509060 (:0.000000)), period (0.508930 (:0.000000)), feelings of others (0.508905 (:0.000000)), philosophy (0.508827 (:0.000000)), sciences (0.508387 (:0.000000)), battles (0.508309 (:0.000000)), definition (0.508043 (:0.000000)), place (0.507953 (:0.000000)), knowledge (0.507847 (:0.000000)), reactionaries (0.507721 (:0.000000))

Leonard Nimoy:Person (0.785468 (:0.000000))

Magic (0.953321): dbpedia_resource
Critical thinking (0.694715): dbpedia_resource
Reason (0.692110): dbpedia_resource
Logic (0.597402): dbpedia_resource
Philosophy (0.568626): dbpedia_resource
Philosophical logic (0.564965): dbpedia_resource
Rationality (0.553004): dbpedia_resource
Monty Python (0.538154): dbpedia_resource

 The Magical Thinking of Guys Who Love Logic
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  McCrea, Aisling (2019-02-15), The Magical Thinking of Guys Who Love Logic, Retrieved on 2019-03-02
  • Source Material [theoutline.com]
  • Folksonomies: logical fallacy logic