The prisoner’s dilemma is one of the fundamental demonstrations of individual human behaviour. The dilemma goes as follows:
Two prisoners are taken into custody with inadequate evidence of involvement, and therefore put in separate rooms for interrogation. We will caller the prisoners P1 and P2.
The officers had an interesting offer to P1 and P2 simultaneously. Let’s start by discussing this offer.
P1, if you turn P2 in, and he stays silent about it, you will not face any jail time, whereas P2 will face a 3 year jail time.
If they both remain silent, they would only face one year in jail for lack of increment sentence related evidence.
P2, if you turn in P1 in, and he stays silent about it, you will not face any jail time, whereas P1 will face a 3 year jail time.
Now if P1 and P2 both confess, they will have to serve a shorter sentence than the first two scenarios. They will have to stay in jail for 2 years each.
What would be a logical choice?
If they both stay silent, they get 1 year each, if they both confess, they get 2 years each, and if one stays silent and the other confesses, which is highly likely to happen in decision making situations that revolve around consequential analysis, uncertainty will be the dominant substantial reactive behaviour.
Logic would say, it is better for them to both stay silent as it is the most convenient objective choice to make if we do the math.
However let’s do go into a more profound subjective point of view. If P1 thinks P2 will stay silent, it would be a better decision to confess. However if P1 thinks that P2 is going to betray him, then the best option would be to betray him as well as two years is better than three. The same thing happens from P2’s subjective point of view. However, mathematically speaking, if they both remain silent, then the outcome is even better. One year instead of two. This dilemma emphasized the reason of rationality whether it’s on an individualistic level, or a collective level. We will further discuss the relationship between rationality and logic but just bare with me for a second. As rational human beings, they will approach the interchangeably reactive approach would be to decide rationally. The rational decision at this point is for P1 to turn P2 in so he can leave non-coerced. The same scenario unfolds on P2’s side. This decision is built upon subjective rational self interest. However, acting in an irrational way and remaining silent, trusting that the other individual will do the same is one way to go. In this discussion, our sense of rationality goes into a dubious situation. Irrationality became rationality. In your search for existence, you need to stop thinking rationally and start thinking irrationally. Through rationality you will look for a meaning, through irrationality, you will create meaning. It is quite difficult to have reason based on irrationality. The best approach to irrationality is learning how to use it, in the most rational way. Again, the irrational becomes the rational.
But what about logic?
Between logic and rationality exists a fundamental relationship where similarities exist, however the dominant difference black the interchangeable use of those two terms.
Logic is highly understandable from a mathematic standpoint. Logic can be explained through mathematical equations. Logic follows a flow of coherent logical steps.
Rationality on the other hand has nothing to do with our cognitive logical interpretation of situations, but it reflects thoughtfulness and reasonability despite the correlative or non-correlative emotions and feelings were experiencing. Reason is a primitive instinct in the evolution system. Logic however exploits mathematics as as previously said, fractals, matrices and syllogism.
Now if in the previous discussion, we came to a conclusion that irrationality became rationality. The question is, are irrationality and logic connected? Take a minute to think about this before you read the next question…
Now whatever your answer is, forget about it, or use it to answer the following question: Are illogic and irrationality connected in any way?
Again, take another minute to think about this question.
Now how did you define illogic when you were trying to answer the question. The effect of illogicalness is caused by distortion on a cognitive level resulting in anomalous reactivity and residuum. Let’s take an example. A husband, let’s call him H and his wife, let’s call her W, were getting ready to go to bed. As H went to the washroom he received a message on his phone from a woman flirting with him. What would be the logical outcome? Logic will say, it is H’s phone, it is H’s number, It’s a name of a girl, she is flirting with him, which means that H has been engaged in conversations with this mysterious woman, let’s call her Z, which finally leads us to the conclusion that H is cheating on W.
As H came back to the room, he saw his wife having a breakdown. She gets filled with emotions linked to fear, anger, sadness…etc
There is a twist however, in reality, H doesn’t know Z. He never cheated on W.
H trying to clarify the situation to W wants to point out that what she is saying doesn’t make any sense, would he say you’re not being rational, or you’re not being logical?
As we said, when somebody is thoughtful and reasonable despite the emotional charge he/she would be considered as rational.
Now in the example where W got filled up with emotions which she clearly demonstrated, H has to say, you’re being illogical or, you’re being irrational.
As her reaction is amplified by emotions, it can no longer be considered rational. The rational solution, would be to communicate and talk about the situation, hearing H’s side of the story. Therefore, W is definitely being irrational. However, she is being logical where the different thought processes she went through all lead to the conclusion that H is cheating on W. Her reaction, which was irrational was initially interpreted by logic.
Our sense of rationality was based fundamentally, on false logical informative structures.
Let’s keep something in mind however, I am not saying our logical interpretation steps were erroneous. It is the informative elucidative arrangements that is reflected upon erroneous initial instructions. As we were previously talking about the tripartite theory, we built knowledge upon a three dimensional pillars. Belief, truth and justification. If you don’t remember the difference between those two terms I highly encourage you to go back and understand it before you follow through.
Logic means belief. Logic is true. Logic is justified.
For logic to exist, we need to believe in its existence. For you to know anything, it must be indeed true. In the case where the belief itself is false, which means that it simple can not be considered as true, thus it can not be known.
Finally, the justification. For you to believe logic to be true, your decision making process should justify the reasoning. We all know that logic exists however.
In this example, we are going to go back to our cheating situation. We will take two different scenarios, one based on objective analysis, and the other one based on subjective analysis.
As we said, Logic being believable, true and justified will store the logical interpretation as a source of knowledge. If one of those factors is missing, the system collapses. Now objectively, H never cheated on W, the logical process of the situation is lacking the truth factor. W’s conclusion became a source of knowledge for her. However, for her to acquire knowledge is for her to know something. For her to know something, is for her to believe that the acquired knowledge is definitely true. If the belief itself is false, it can not be considered as true, therefore it can not be known.
Removing that one factor from logic it will result in the deterioration of the system. The logical, becomes objectively illogical. The objective external illogical analysis did however lead to an irrational reaction from W, based on her subjective personal reasoning. Therefore there is definitely a link between illogical and irrational cognitive operations.
To answer the question on whether or not there’s a link between irrationality and logic.
When we talked about her subjective, personal logical and rational evaluation of the situation. On an individual level, her logical structuring was true. W knows for a fact that there is someone talking to her husband by the use of her perceptional evidence and logical combinations. Her reaction, based on subjective logic as we discussed before, lead to an irrational response.
So with those 4 concepts being interconnected, our purpose can be rational, or irrational, it can be logical or illogical, based on different criteria and measures.
Now, the object of reason as we discussed before is the object of meaning, to exist, needs to be part of our knowledge, meaning it needs to believed, it needs to be true, and it needs to be justified. Now the question is, how can we put the object of meaning in perspective action. Well, we need to answer this question using one of the 4 criteria systems we talked about. Would achieving this purpose be rational? Irrational? Logical? Illogical?
Now you reflect the answer upon the knowledge tripartite system where you gather, for each and every decision based on the 4 criteria systems. Which one of those do your reasoning believe you should follow? What about the interconnected factor that reflects upon the rationality, irrationality, logic, and illogic. If your object of reasons seems irrational, however, you believe in its existence, you believe it to be true, and you found a justification for it. On the other hand, you found the rational solution, which you did not believe was the right true object of meaning, you question its truth and its justification. In this scenario, which purpose should you purse? Despite the logical system or rational systems, what matters the most is the satisfaction of this source, and the effective impact it reflects on us. This source of action should be based on belief, truth and justification.
I will give you a very good example to explain this concept. Roger Bannister broke the four minute barrier on the the 6th of May, 1954. He broke the 4 minute barrier with three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenth of a second. This barrier was based a lot more on the psychological as aspect than the physical aspect, because people believed that human beings are not physically capable of running a mile in less than four minutes. The logical, rational rule would say we can not do it and our psychological influence would be built upon that. Now, Roger Bannister knew that even tho he faced an immediate irrational and illogical response to his thought of breaking the 4 minute barrier. However, what is his belief, truthiness and justification about the consequential outcomes?
Sebastian Coe, talking about Roger, once mentioned that Bannister was running 28 miles a week. When Nietzsche said: “ He who has a why in life, can bare almost any how.” This says something. He overcame the psychological influence through an initial irrational thought, which he believed in, in its truthiness, and in its justification, reflecting upon the subjective, logical rational outcomes and consequences. This is exactly what you need to start thinking about and reflecting upon, if you want to take the journey towards your why.
One last reminder to add up. Your pursuit of the illogical and irrational, will be supported by belief, hope, and faith. However, reluctance, skepticism, ambiguity, and confusion, can influence the outcome related decision previously made. The idea is, you need to reflect upon the questions mentioned above with objective answers to those questions. Think about your own personal interpretation of the outcomes, and use hope and faith to back up the outcome related decision.
Now we established that logic, ilogic, rationality and irrationality are not objectively nor subjectively necessary for you to find your object of meaning. It can be one of those four, it can be more than one at once, however, the rule remains the same. Belief, truth and justification are all you need to store your why in your knowledge system.
A lot of you might be thinking that justification can not be met if it doesn’t satisfy the logic and rationality factors. However keep in mind that all of those four processing systems can be right or wrong, subjectively or objectively, but it is our human intuition that can find a justification to our belief. In the example where we talked about roger bannister, we saw that his belief, truth and justification were flawed with irrationality and illogic from an external subjective and objective standpoint. Nonetheless, he ensured almost any how, and pursued his purpose in life.
Logic is built upon accumulative mathematically analyzed steps. The interesting thing is, some people see steps that others don’t. What’s logical for you is illogical for someone else, and same goes for rationality. It is all up to your belief, truth and justification.
Now, what if this meaning in life, wasn’t as accurate as you thought it would be? What if you start feeling like what you’re pursuing is not actually what you want in life, which is pretty a pretty common scenario. Now doubt as previously mentioned builds a void in the existential knowledge we acquired. It is one of the most detrimental factors that can menace our existentialism. Doubt doesn’t always work against you. Doubt is sometimes necessary to further reinforce your belief, truth and justification. Logic and rationality for a child are very different the adult systems. Based on a lot of different external and internal factors, our cognitive processing system is developing each and every day. It is possible that at one point in time, we look back at our object of meaning only to realize that our previous justification that made sense to us, doesn’t really make sense anymore.
Let’s take an example:
A child born in a strict Christian family, in a very conservative social environment grew up to believe in father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
His father told him about the miracles that Jesus did, he explained heaven and hell, sins and obedience and good deeds. This child grew up with a logical and rational structure reinforcing his belief, his truth and justification, most importantly it reinforced his faith and his hope.
Growing up, he went into philosophy and evolutionary theories which for him, made a lot more sense, had a lot more logic and rationality than the “ God Created The Universe “ ideology.
Previously, the child thought that his purpose in life was to avoid sin, engage in good deeds to please god and be one of those who spend eternity in heaven. Now that this previous knowledge of his got deteriorated, he starts falling into the void of existentialism, looking for another meaning behind his existence. His logic and rationality developed and geared him towards another why in life. Problem is, he does not know what this why is, which applies to a huge number of people.
Our purpose in life evolves. We as human beings, built upon the biological fact of evolution are made to evolve every second, every day, every week, every month.
Doubt can be helpful or it can be detrimental. In the question of celestial existence, specifically when it comes to the justification factor, can we justify, following rational and logical steps, the existence of god? Another question would be, can we use rational and logical analysis to prove the existence of god? The answer to both questions, is obviously no. There is a missing piece of the puzzle on whether or not god exists. So despite the illogical and irrational situation, people follow hope, faith and inner belief. Let’s look at this from a different standpoint however. For a religious person who believes in the existence of higher power, his logic and rationality scanned all the potential meaning in life that he can explore. Religion for him seemed as if it is the most rational and logical approach to his belief. Therefore even tho he was being irrational, and illogical as there is no definite justification, he used logic and rationality to reinforce his belief on why this is the true reason of existence. The child who went from being Christian to being an evolutionary atheist had this logical and rational belief growing up, that god exists, only to realize after expanding his scope of logic and rationality that god doesn’t exist.
Let’s take another case however, his cousin, born in the exact same conditions, went to religion school to study more about Christianity. His logic and rationality got even more enforced. He does not only have a logical reasonable explanation to his belief, he fell into the state of blind belief.
Is existentialism a product of logical and rational advancement? Is finding meaning a human instinct?
If an individual was abandoned in the jungle, grew up, survived and overcame the harsh conditions of the wild jungle for 30 years… Now of course, he does not how to speak, and he does not know how to do any kind of proper social interaction. By default, through different educational and critical thinking that went missing in his upbringing, his sense of logic and rationality would not be comparable to ours, as ours is a lot more advanced.
Now in your opinion would this person question the reason behind his existence or his purpose in life?
We know for a fact that during the nineteenth century, the logical theories developed expanded our processing ability. The philosophy behind language is one of the most interesting factors here. A lot of bilingual or trilingual people reported a change of personality correlated with different languages they’re using.
Would this person feel the need for society from the instinctive basis of the social animals factor?
Once his psychological needs are satisfied, and his safety is assured, would he, following the hierarchy of needs, start exploring love and belonging needs? Esteem needs? Self actualization?
What about feelings? Would he feel love? Would he feel empty? Lonely?
Now he needs to develop some sort of communication. Just like animals, he needs a mean of communication to express different emotions he is feeling or experiencing. Interaction with other animals and living beings would develop instinctively. Keeping in mind that this is an assumption based on our human nature.
Reflecting on the tripartite theory, knowledge is highly influenced by communication, and by default, it has implications on language. The justification part of the theory would experience a lot of changes through communication and linguistic interactions.
Existentialism grows as logic and rationality expand.
The Wisdom Paradox states that the more you learn, the more you are exposed to what you don’t know. The more you learn, the more your logic and rationality expands, and of course, your ability to distinguish illogic and irrationality would also improve. Socrates developed and emphasized the learning paradox. The idea is simple: A man cannot search either for what he knows or for what he does not know. He cannot search for what he knows since he knows it, there is no need to search nor for what he does not know, for he does not know what to look for.