The good life

Roses have thorns
The blue comes through
Gold is enduring
The earth and water
Red birds in flight
Cherry Flavoured Ice Cream
Deep blue Pools


                             Organizing Your Mind
Think Logically ---and No One Can Stop You

"I don't know enough to go out into the world on my own."

"Don't worry too much about the things you don't know.  What
gets you into trouble are the things you know for sure that ain't

To get an idea of how Harry Lorayne explains about thinking
logically, he starts with informing his readers that he doesn't want
to get into a 'technical treatise'  about logic.  Which as I read the
words he would have to use and their definitions it is not what I
want to get into either. He explains that; 'Practical philosophy
consists of two branches: ethics and logic.
'  If this really interests
you then maybe you should consider taking a college course if you
haven't already. 

Lorayne speaks of the two branches of 'logic':  epistemology -
(too big a word for me!). The definition being - the discussion
of the nature of truth and certain knowledge of truth; and secondly,
what he is more interested in for this chapter; dialectics -'which
consists of treating the correct ways of thinking in
order that
we may reach truth.'

Dialectics consists of three main operations of the intellect:
(1). Simple Apprehension.
(2). Judgement.
(3). Reasoning.

(1). Simple Apprehension; understanding what something is- 
      'these are words on this page'.
(2). Judgement;  is when you think-  'these are interesting words'.
(3). Reasoning; 'this is a good article'. (I can hope can't I?) :o)

To reach a Judgement, you need two Simple Apprehensions. The
words on the page, plus the interesting words on the page.
To Reason, you need two Judgements. If your two Judgements
allow you a third Judgement or Conclusion, that is Reasoning.

So, I see words on this page and they are interesting words plus
these words make me think, then I am Reasoning.

Harry Lorayne suggests, "Correct Thinking Will Never Fail You".
He knows there are two kinds of 'Reasoning' -- Induction and
Deduction.  He is dealing with 'Deduction' in his book and only
a small part of deduction.  Because he feels Logic is an art and a
science and takes more study than he is writing about.  He
suggests there are books on the subject if you are interested.

He is only interested in the Syllogism of Deduction, which thankfully
he explains is 'the expression of the act of deductive reasoning'. 
Which really just means, that I see this and this and thus I
to a conclusion.  Then, I also conclude or judge this, so I make
a deduction.

We all do this every day and most of the time without even actually
thinking about what we are doing.  There is a form of thinking that
concerns him, in that sometimes it can lead us astray.

Here is one example based on proof:
(1).  All men are mortal.
(2).  Socrates is a man.
(3).  Therefore Socrates is mortal.

Lorayne says. "that conclusions are always formed of three separate
steps, although we usually tend to think of the first two steps as one;
and sometimes of all three as one

The trouble is, if all three steps aren't used in a thought out way then
they can lead to a false conclusion.  Your reasoning could look
but if you don't have all the facts then you can jump to the wrong
conclusion.  Some examples he uses are:
1. Soups are always served hot.
2. Vichysoisse is a soup.
3. Therefore vichysoisse is always served hot.  (Which is not true,
because that soup is served cold)

So we are prejudging because of the first statement.  Most soups are
served hot but because the word 'always' was inferred then it brings
about a false conclusion.

Another example would be and this gets my dander up if I hear
someone say it:
1. All women are bad drivers.
2. Jane Jones is a woman.
3. Therefore Jane Jones is a bad driver.

So before making a statement or coming to a conclusion make sure
you know all your facts and are very familiar with your subject.  I believe
there is a saying,  "Loose lips sink ships" , which has more to do with
giving away plans.  The thing is, 'loose lips' can also destroy someone if
it is a lie that is repeated continuouly. We never know what harm we are
doing when we make broad statements not backed up by the true facts.

Don't take things for granted.  As Robert Lynd has said, "It is easier to
believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact
that one has never heard before
."  The more something is repeated the
more the tendency to believe it, whether it is true or not.  Continuouly
repeating something is a good way to get people to remember what you
want them to remember, but make sure it is the truth.

Don't be led along 'that easy-to-travel path of least resistance.'  If you do
then you aren't really making use of that marvelous computer we all have,
'the brain'!  Much of Harry Lorayne's book is about using your brain, and
to do that he believes it needs to be excercised just as the body needs

To give you an idea about the rest of the chapter, I will  leave you with
this riddle.  Harry Lorayne believes there are many ways to exercise
your mind.  He gives an example of a game that he calls 'solvems':
One person sets a scene and others have to ask questions that result
in answers of,  'Yes', 'No', or 'Immaterial'.

The riddle:  John is lying in bed and he is having difficulty falling asleep. 
He goes to the phone, gets a number, says, "Hello, Joe," hangs up, and
then goes back to bed, where he now falls asleep without any difficulty.

Questions are asked until it is discovered that Joe is the reason John can't
sleep.  The answer is: John is in a hotel room, and can't sleep because the
fellow in the next room is snoring too loudly!  He picks up the phone and
asks to be connected to the room next door.  This stops the snoring because
Joe has to wake up and answer the phone. John says, "Hello Joe" just to
say something --- he doesn't know the man at all.  Thus the riddle is solved,
by the process of thinking and asking questions.

Patricia Downing                       

                                                                              © Copyright 2009  PatriciaDowning.Com - All Rights Reserved
                                                                               Duplication permitted only with copyright and content unaltered.