It seems that the majority of people cannot understand basic advanced logic. How can you show somebody who does not know how to think high level truth?

How to show someone they cannot think the truth if they cannot understand that precise subject. I’d almost say this entire question is illogical, if such a thing wouldn’t be so disgustingly pat.

I do not believe people cannot understand logic. They might be unused to abstract thought. They might lack the technical language. All of that might be true but they do have some logic. How else would they navigate life?

I have succesfully talked people who claimed not to understand mathematics at all through their impressive knowledge and understanding of the national soccer competition. They could rapi

How to show someone they cannot think the truth if they cannot understand that precise subject. I’d almost say this entire question is illogical, if such a thing wouldn’t be so disgustingly pat.

I do not believe people cannot understand logic. They might be unused to abstract thought. They might lack the technical language. All of that might be true but they do have some logic. How else would they navigate life?

I have succesfully talked people who claimed not to understand mathematics at all through their impressive knowledge and understanding of the national soccer competition. They could rapidly compute what amount of goals some team would have to make in order to win the championship on the condition that another team would loose, win or play equal in a preceding game. That uses a handful of logical connectors, actually! It was rather impressive to me, who doesn’t know the offside rule.

I have succesfully taught Bayes’ Theorem to people with no higher education at all. Well, not the formula itself but the gist of it. They did understand.

My suggestion would be that you work with examples that your interlocutor can easily grasp and build on that.

If someone says, for example “but, science doesn’t know anything for sure!” then you can talk about 3,5 billion year old rocks. We do have some of those around. So.. we know for sure that the Earth had a crust back then. Whatever else may be uncertain, that we know. You may of course invite them to step off a high building. After all, the law of gravity is science as well, right? People understand this readily.

Yes, it is true that the majority of people—human human beings, that is—don’t understand logic.

In fact, nobody understands logic. Mathematicians, who are probably universally regarded as the experts on logic, don’t understand logic any more than anybody else. Of course, mathematicians will understand mathematical logic, but mathematical logic has very, very little to do with the logic of deductive inferences as routinely performed by the human brain.

However, it is in fact not necessary to understand logic to be able to use it to great effect. If you have a brain, then you have a deductive abil

Yes, it is true that the majority of people—human human beings, that is—don’t understand logic.

In fact, nobody understands logic. Mathematicians, who are probably universally regarded as the experts on logic, don’t understand logic any more than anybody else. Of course, mathematicians will understand mathematical logic, but mathematical logic has very, very little to do with the logic of deductive inferences as routinely performed by the human brain.

However, it is in fact not necessary to understand logic to be able to use it to great effect. If you have a brain, then you have a deductive ability and studying mathematical logic not only will not help, but it may in fact confuse you as to what are your logical intuitions.

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There would be a lot else to say about this, but I lack the time to go into the necessary details. Further, I possibly also lack the motivation. Apparently, what I explain on Quora doesn’t seem to interest Quora users, or at least, if they are interested, it is not made apparent. So I guess a short answer to the question is all that I can justify spending my time on.

Thanks for reading anyway.

Question originally asked: It seems that the majority of people cannot understand basic advanced logic. How can you show somebody who does not know how to think high level truth?


How droll the phrase ‘basic advanced logic’! Does it differ from the phrase ‘advanced basic logic’?

Even more fascinating is the phrase ‘to think high level truth’. Is truth even stratified into levels from lower to higher? Does one think in ‘truth levels’?

The very question itself betrays a lack of knowledge on ‘basic basic logic’ ;-) Even of ‘basic basic basic logic’.


Now, while it might be the case that the majority of

Question originally asked: It seems that the majority of people cannot understand basic advanced logic. How can you show somebody who does not know how to think high level truth?


How droll the phrase ‘basic advanced logic’! Does it differ from the phrase ‘advanced basic logic’?

Even more fascinating is the phrase ‘to think high level truth’. Is truth even stratified into levels from lower to higher? Does one think in ‘truth levels’?

The very question itself betrays a lack of knowledge on ‘basic basic logic’ ;-) Even of ‘basic basic basic logic’.


Now, while it might be the case that the majority of people, factually do not understand all of the finer points of logic, I would most certainly not go so far as to claim that they cannot.

But I would say that they cannot be shown these finer points, by one who holds to the idea of different levels of truth. By one who confuses propositional attitudes with propositions.

It is much simpler than that, truth is truth and falsity is falsity. Either a proposition (classically) is true, or it is false. Classically, we have but two truth values, distinct from each other and identical to themselves.

A person thinking in terms of ‘high level truth’ is thinking in terms of a fiction. Confusing the fact that some proposition would be true, with some subjective valuation of that truth.

That’s all fine and well, but as to showing people, please do so, but stay away from my children and anyone dear to me, as I can be rather defensive of my children and you might not like my response.

How about even defining what it is that you mean by a truth being high level? What you even intend by a distinction between a high level truth and, shall we say, ‘low level truth’. What would the logical consequences be of any such distinction? What the pragmatic consequences?

You can’t exactly convince them per se, because if a person is not ready/willing to exercise logic, then it’s absolutely impossible to lead them to a rational conclusion. They will simply fail to get it, no matter how many times you attempt it.

HOWEVER, not all hope is lost, however the way to lead a person unwilling to exercise their logic is just different than with a regular, rational sort of individual.

One way that is good to get a person to think are repetition of some fact in many, many ways. The expression “droplets of water wears away the stone” fits here, because by reading the same th

You can’t exactly convince them per se, because if a person is not ready/willing to exercise logic, then it’s absolutely impossible to lead them to a rational conclusion. They will simply fail to get it, no matter how many times you attempt it.

HOWEVER, not all hope is lost, however the way to lead a person unwilling to exercise their logic is just different than with a regular, rational sort of individual.

One way that is good to get a person to think are repetition of some fact in many, many ways. The expression “droplets of water wears away the stone” fits here, because by reading the same thing over and over again, in various ways, the signal has a chance to eventually get through to them.

But unfortunately, so few people know how to pull this off, because if it comes to something common like convincing a Christian to examine the contradictions of the Bible, a problem is that atheists all tend to have a very limiting style of presentation, namely a haughty and brainy one.

So it can seem on the surface as if there is never any hope.

But in fact, if a person understands some fact or truth, they should just try to figure out new, refreshing ways of saying it, so that it has an ability to work down into a person’s thoughts and feelings, which has to happen for an idea to have any kind of affect on their thinking.

There is a part of the mind that sees the bigger picture and there is another part of the mind that only sees part of the picture. People’s core beliefs are sometimes questioned when they choose to look at the bigger picture. This is often inconvenient to them because they rely on their core beliefs to get themselves motivated to do a lot of tasks, which they (may have been lead to) believe will eventually cause them to reach all their goals in life.

In order to make someone accept the logical truth, they have to be given an alternative idea which does not destroy their momentum in their daily

There is a part of the mind that sees the bigger picture and there is another part of the mind that only sees part of the picture. People’s core beliefs are sometimes questioned when they choose to look at the bigger picture. This is often inconvenient to them because they rely on their core beliefs to get themselves motivated to do a lot of tasks, which they (may have been lead to) believe will eventually cause them to reach all their goals in life.

In order to make someone accept the logical truth, they have to be given an alternative idea which does not destroy their momentum in their daily routine.

Persuasion comes primarily by people observing others*.

*: the way you see that they have lived and are living their lives, how you see them treat others and especially how you see them behave when tested/stressed/challenged.

There’s no logic or facts needed for any of that….it’s fairly obvious to all observers who see it (not were told it).

And once all that has been successfully accomplished, maybe then they will ask us our opinion rather than us peddling our opinion at them** or demeaning them** in various ways.

**: which of course is disrespectful and counts as a negative in them being able to

Persuasion comes primarily by people observing others*.

*: the way you see that they have lived and are living their lives, how you see them treat others and especially how you see them behave when tested/stressed/challenged.

There’s no logic or facts needed for any of that….it’s fairly obvious to all observers who see it (not were told it).

And once all that has been successfully accomplished, maybe then they will ask us our opinion rather than us peddling our opinion at them** or demeaning them** in various ways.

**: which of course is disrespectful and counts as a negative in them being able to trust (believe) us.

PS: there was some demeaning behavior in your question, but I’m happy to now see the question has been stripped of that.

As they say, “What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying”.

The trump era has made it abundantly clear to me that for his followers is is no longer (if it ever was) about truth for them. It is about obtaining and clinging to power at any (and I do mean any) cost - including abandoning rationality and placing the lives of American citizens at risk to remain in power.

We are living the nightmare of the founders of our nation in which a malicious incompetence has gained the seat of governmental power, perverted the agencies of government to enable its perfidious actions and will corrupt the coming election in every way it can to hold on for four more years

The trump era has made it abundantly clear to me that for his followers is is no longer (if it ever was) about truth for them. It is about obtaining and clinging to power at any (and I do mean any) cost - including abandoning rationality and placing the lives of American citizens at risk to remain in power.

We are living the nightmare of the founders of our nation in which a malicious incompetence has gained the seat of governmental power, perverted the agencies of government to enable its perfidious actions and will corrupt the coming election in every way it can to hold on for four more years.

Caveat emptor!

Best thing to do is try spend as little time with them as possible especially with ignorant adults who are more likely to never learn. You’re likely not the person to coerce them into being well adjusted human beings. If they couldn’t do it themselves or see a reason to change you’re wasting your time.

People keep some beliefs to make them feel safe.

If you just say the truth, with no sensitivity, they will feel attacked and won’t be convinced. Or it will just make them doubt themselves.

So, if you use your empathy, you will be able to see when people are ready to hear some things and when they are not. You might try, and wait for the reaction. If they react badly, then give up and give them time.

If you say things in a gentle way, people usually listen. But they don’t always are ready or give us space for that. And, also, sometimes things we say don’t make sense to others, that’s normal, cause

People keep some beliefs to make them feel safe.

If you just say the truth, with no sensitivity, they will feel attacked and won’t be convinced. Or it will just make them doubt themselves.

So, if you use your empathy, you will be able to see when people are ready to hear some things and when they are not. You might try, and wait for the reaction. If they react badly, then give up and give them time.

If you say things in a gentle way, people usually listen. But they don’t always are ready or give us space for that. And, also, sometimes things we say don’t make sense to others, that’s normal, cause each person has a different thoughts, needs, fears and emotions.

Maybe if they are too irrational for you maybe you’d be more comfortable dealing with people who think similar to you.

Start with something in logic that is much simpler.

Logic is a tool, but should not be overused, where it usurps the whole person.

Many people use practical intuition and a wider perspective to cut through to the relevant truth of a matter, the bottom line for them.

People are more reasonable then you give them credit. It is not so much logic but that common sense (where we get most of our starting points) is socially shaped and often insufficient for the world we have created for ourselves.