Logic and Freedom

Logic and Freedom

The common idea of logic is that it is something to obey, a kind of formal regularity imposed by the current cultural conditions on the acts of an individual to ensure their conformity with the social standards. This level of logic is like common moral in ethics.

Some people would protest against any obeisance, advocating absolute freedom beyond all norms. So what? How do they express their freedom? They try to do something unusual, visibly violating the traditional ways. Isn't it logical for the kind of activity they choose? Even abstaining from any activity at all is a social act logically following from a definite motive.

It might seem that logic is the opposite of freedom, unavoidably putting limit to fantasy and inspiration, cropping desires. Not at all. Logic rather selects the reasonable from random, the spiritual from spontaneous. There are numerous examples of how trying to be original by any means results in primitive imitation, herd behavior; the pursuit of the unusual often ends in banalities. Mere denial of tradition is not enough; one also has to produce something valuable. This positive side of negation, true creativity, is associated with some inner logic; to catch it is the first task of creator. Sometimes, the necessary logic does not yet exist, so that it has to be developed in the course of creation. Still, the very process of development implements a definite logic, there is no arbitrariness.

To be free, one must be properly equipped. If you have no means of coping with situations, you become a slave of chance. If you lack knowledge, you get dependent on the opinions of the others. If there is no will, there are obligations. That is why being logical is so important for freedom. It prevents one's getting lost in fallacies.

Knowing the limits is another side of being equipped. Each tool should be used in an appropriate manner. When the existing tools are insufficient, one can temporarily fool nature with a tricky combination of something at hand, but the true solution requires development of technology. Consciously following some logic, people become free to consciously change it. Once the rules are accepted, they are no longer imposed.

Logic structures actions to efficiently advance to the desired goal, but primarily you must know what you want. This is the first logical principle, and the first principle of freedom.

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