No logic: Treating pain with pain

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Sounds irrational, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is.

Today I came across something sad, something i come across all too often; a misguided person harshly jerking on her dogs leash. To make things worse, the dog was wearing a choke chain.

The dog in question; a small, female Labrador Retriever. I was walking one of my dogs at the time, a small, female Golden Retriever.

Faulty logic

When i saw what she was doing, i immediately approached her asking why.

At first she appeared confused as to my asking at all, because in her mind this was probably common practice and I doubt she’d ever been called on it before.

Then came her response.

My dog is scared of Golden Retrievers.

I processed her response for a moment, and followed up. Her dog, by the way, showed no obvious signs of fear.

So your response to her supposed fear is to induce an element of pain around her throat and neck? Let’s say I threw a rope around your neck and starting pulling it whenever you were scared of something. Do you think that would help alleviate your fear?

She thought for a moment, then replied lethargically.

No.. I suppose not.

To which I once again posed the previous question, adding something about what logic she was using that made it okay to do this to her dog, but not herself.

She responded by reiterating that her dog was scared of golden retrievers, appearing to completely miss the point.

This went on for a few more minutes, but we didn’t seem to get anywhere. Why some people have such a huge disconnect between logic and action has always puzzled me.

At the very least, she has now experienced the fact that other people may take odds against her abysmal behaviour, and that continuing with it, she might very well get called out again.

“There are worse things in the world”, she told me

One of the last things she said to me, which again completely misses the point, was a typical defensive position wherein according to her, I should have more important things to concern myself with rather than this, and that there are far bigger issues than this in life.

On the latter she is right; there are bigger issues in the world.

As for the former, here’s my response.

By using the logic that because there are worse things in the world than whatever situation we are currently in, and as a result, ignore the issue at hand; everything would go straight in the toilet. Everything.

Just because there are worse things in life (there always will be), doesn’t make it okay, or even logical, to ignore lesser things. Yet many respond in this fashion, which have always struck me as peculiar.

The logical, humane and reasonable thing to do, is to act on the things you can change, regardless of those things you can’t.

Author: Stian Karlsen

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