Artisan by Dan Joyce
The Universal Laws Of Logic
The other day, I walked to the smoke shop to buy a pack of cigars. On the way there, a homeless man asked me for change and I told him I didn’t have any. Then I walked past him and he seemed upset. After buying my cigars, I purchased a can of iced tea for only a dollar then left the store walking past him again trying to ignore him. When I got to the parking lot nearby, I realized I could afford just one more can of tea. Being a hot day, I turned around and walked back into the store, again passing the disgruntled man. As I grabbed the can of tea from the refrigerator, he stormed into the store fiery red. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he screamed at me, “Why you have to keep walking by me like that?” He obviously wanted to provoke a fight and no one was really sure what to do.
In a calm voice, I said, “I came back for a second soda.” He looked around, calmed down and walked away. Although the customers of the store were concerned, they were amazed at my handling of the situation.
While we have several ethical bases in our society, religion, Christianity, spirituality, hippie “love,” or just good old-fashioned brotherly love, the strongest ethic in life I have found is just plain old reasoning and adult conversation. People universally respect honesty and truth when it is put in front of them. There are many distractions to this, racism, sexism, violent threats, all intended to anger the opponent and always offset one’s ability to think rationally. Insanity is more harmful when invoked by another than in it’s natural illogical state. We all get crazy! Just get cut off on the freeway. To distract from the main claim of an argument by saying they won’t understand because someone is black, Mexican, gay or in my case, treated for bipolar, only offsets the valid reasoning attempts of another to win an argument or conflict rather than seek a just resolution. Sadly, it usually works. Because this man was homeless for whatever reason, many may have not attempted to answer his question in a rational adult manner. But when we reason with one another successfully, conflict and unethical behavior can easily be avoided. Likewise morality prevails.
Like mathematics and based on mathematics, logic is a universal language and can be used as a superior ethical principle. We all have it. We all know it. Whether here in Southern California or in New York or even some place as far as Pakistan, people respect people who respect people. Reasoning and rational conversation, I find, is the best way to accomplish that. Something to think about!