Should Logic in Modern Education be Mandatory?

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Answered by: Oliver, An Expert in the Education Issues Category
Popular issues revolving around contemporary education cover a vast expanse of content-centric topics. The political world is constantly in flux, making the curriculum in our public (and private) schools subject to the instability of the election cycle. Math must be taught according to this or that standardized test. History must include elements of certain politically-charged events in order to promote some legislator's definition of a well-rounded education. Science is required to cover theories which may have more to do with controversy than with actual scientific knowledge. With all of this influence coming at our children from every angle imaginable, any focus on the methodology of thought is lost in a sea of itemized content. In other words, there's too much focus on WHAT to think, and not enough focus on HOW to think.

Logic, once a required subject in school, has been all but completely left behind or shifted into technological fields, such as computer programming. A quick glance at the world around us will quickly reveal exactly what happens when an entire population forgets HOW to think. A simple understanding of logic can help even the most average student to produce much more poignant and rational thoughts. A populace versed in formal logic can better understand and better utilize just about everything, from their day-to-day job to elections to deciding what shoes to purchase. Marketing campaigns and public announcements have made created an entire industry based on logical fallacy in an attempt to promote their products, ideas, and agendas. Logic in modern education is an absolute necessity for reversing this trend of irrational and unrestrained abuse.

How many advertisements have you seen that include the statement, "9 out of 10 scientists agree..." A formally trained logician will immediately recognize this as an Appeal to Authority, which is a logical fallacy. The statement introduces no technical information to support its claim. It simply alludes to the fact that some scientists agree with their claim. Ad campaigns that suggest, "Hey, everyone's doing it" are taking advantage of the Bandwagon or Ad Populum Fallacy. Have you ever heard a politician say something along the lines of "If by 'abortion' you're talking about the quick-fix to irresponsibility, the last resort birth-control option, then I'm against it. If by 'abortion' you're talking about a medically-necessary procedure in severe cases of rape or incest, then I'm for it!" When you hear this, you have just witnesses a textbook If-by-Whiskey Fallacy.

There are so many benefits to be had by the re-institution of Logic in modern education. The average person, with even a basic, beginners grasp of Logic, would be enabled with a decision making tool which would prove to be instrumental in so many of his/her daily activities. We would see the marketing and advertising industries forced to shift to more informative, fact-based promotional campaigns. The quality of products and services would naturally improve in order to appease a more intelligent demographic of potential customers and/or clients. Politicians would find their usual approach to swaying votes ineffectual, and would therefore have to present their platforms in more direct, rational ways in order to remain competitive. The ongoing problem of national debt would slowly begin to reverse itself, as both the government and the general populace would start making wiser financial decisions. Just about every major aspect of life could be greatly improved by introducing Logic into the curriculum of our secondary and post-secondary education systems.

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