45. (Logic is the worst enemy of Truth, as self-righteousness is the...)
45 – Logic is the worst enemy of Truth, as self-righteousness is the worst enemy of virtue; for the one cannot see its own errors nor the other its own imperfections.
What is the role of logic and reason in our lives?
The best answer I can give to your question is this quotation from The Synthesis of Yoga: “The characteristic power of the reason in its fullness is a logical movement assuring itself first of all available materials and data by observation and arrangement, then acting upon them for a resultant knowledge gained, assured and enlarged by a first use of the reflective powers, and lastly assuring itself of the correctness of its results by a more careful and formal action, more vigilant, deliberate, severely logical which tests, rejects or confirms them according to certain secure standards and processes developed by reflection and experience. The first business of the logical reason is therefore a right, careful and complete observation of its available material and data.”1
But in this Aphorism Sri Aurobindo does not speak of reason. He speaks of logic, which is the partner and instrument of reason.
Logic is the art of correctly deducing one idea from another and inferring from a fact all its consequences. But logic does not itself possess the capacity to discern the truth. So your logic may be indisputable, but if your starting-point is wrong, your conclusions will also be wrong, in spite of the correctness of your logic, or rather, because of it. The same holds true for self-righteousness, which is a feeling of virtuous superiority. Your virtue makes you disdainful of others, and this pride – which fills you with disdain for those who, according to you, are less virtuous than you are – makes your virtue completely worthless.
That is why Sri Aurobindo tells us in his Aphorism that logic is the worst enemy of Truth, just as the feeling of virtuous superiority is the worst enemy of virtue.
24 August 1960
1 The Synthesis of Yoga, Cent. Vol. 21, p. 820. (vissza)