You are here

From a four year old reflection...

Back in the early 90s, Saturday Night Live had a skit, featuring Mike Myers as "Linda Richman", known as "Coffee Talk." Here's what Wikipedia says about the discussion section:

Whenever Richman would get upset, she would put her hand on her chest and say "I'm all verklempt" or "I'm a little verklempt." Then she would say, "Talk amongst yourselves," sometimes waving her hand in a dismissive gesture toward the audience. She would often follow this with an example by saying, "I'll give you a topic," that would usually follow this format: "[two- or three-part phrase] is neither [first part], nor [second part] (nor [third part]). Discuss."

Streisand lampooned this in her '93/'94 New Year's Eve concert at the MGM Grand Las Vegas in which Myers, lampooning Richman, appeared. After claiming to be verklempt, "Linda" said, "The Prince of Tides is neither about a Prince nor tides – discuss."

So, in the spirit of that program, I pose the following topic: "Female logic is neither about females nor about logic. Discuss."

Here's the reason I bring this up. Some women are so intuitive in their thinking (and my mother is one of them) that they frequently believe they see the truth of something but can't understand when anyone else doesn't see the same thing. Part of the problem they have is their thinking pattern so intuitive that they often see no need to draw logical connections for others who don't see what they see. As a result, they don't work to develop the skill (and it is a skill) of making logical connections for others. Some men have the same difficulty (an imbalance of intuition and logic skills) and have the same impatience with people who insist on logic. Ergo, this problem is ultimately not an exclusively female problem. It is also not really about logic, but rather its lack.

Those of us who enjoy both skills in abundance may be tempted to look down upon those who don't, especially on those who are deficient in logic skills. This is a mistake. They may be tempted to see them as lazy. This is a mistake. They may be tempted to see them as lacking in character. This is a mistake. They can't help being who they are. Their logic skills are deficient, but they survive on their intuition, and they often survive quite nicely, because intuition is, in fact, a gift that greatly enhances the survival and social contribution skills of its possessor.

Nevertheless, it is important for anyone who survives on intuition to realize that human intuition (even powerfully felt human intuition) is not infallible. In fact, it can be dangerously wrong, and it often happens that only careful logical analysis can reveal this fact. And, unfortunately, peaceful resolution of the great social and moral questions of every age often flounder on this very deficiency.

One of the most serious deficiencies in the teaching of history is that it hardly ever digs deeply into the "logic" and "intuition" of the age under discussion. Why did people ever accept human slavery? Why did people ever accept the concept of racial superiority? Why did people ever accept the idea that government managed eugenics or government managed euthanasia was a good thing? Why did people ever accept the notion that government could solve all human problems?

Why have people today largely forgotten about some of the darkest periods of human history? Why do people not know about the cultures that regularly practiced human sacrific to idols? Why do people not know about cultures that regularly abandoned infants and children to the elements to see if they were strong enough to survive on their own? Why do people not know about cultures that treat women like chattel? Why do people not know about cultures that engaged in various forms of genocide, whether racially or politically or religiously motivated? I've only begun to scratch the surface here.

At the same time, people today are largely ignorant of real advances in human culture and governance. Why are people so ignorant today of the significance of the limited powers of the central government in our federated system as it was originally designed by its founders? Why are people so ignorant today of the essential role of local initiatives, from the level of the individual and the family to the neighborhood to the community, etc., and the stifling nature of central government meddling? Why are people so ignorant today of the historical genesis of tyranny and the role played by prophets in every age who try in vain to call attention to the dangers? Why are people so ignorant today of the actual nature of the mission of Jesus Christ?

Why are people so ignorant today about about such fundamental distinguishing moral features as virtue and vice?

Topics: 
Share