This conversation is closed.

## All logic and reasoning is circular.

Let's say a child asks you a question. You answer him, and he questions your answer with "why?" The child continues to do this until, eventually, you are unable to give him an additional answer. The logic or reasoning ends, and you can only repeat giving him the same answer over and over. So even though logic does get you from A to B, all logic eventually comes to a circular Z.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning

So the idea is, no matter what your beliefs are, all of your logic will come to some sort of circle at some point.

And if a child played the "why game" with you, what would be your circular/final answer? Would the answer depend on what the original question was, or not? Do you have multiple circular logics?

• #### Brendan Olson

• +3
Jun 11 2013: "'Why' is a silly question." -Richard Dawkins.

You can ask why there are mountains just as reasonably as why are there oceans. The question why is just a silly question, revolving around does it have a purpose. Nothing has a purpose unless we set it out to have a purpose. Why do we have planes? Because we have them serve the purpose of flying. Why are there mountains? Well, we didn't make them for our purposes so they do not have a purpose. They do however suddenly have a purpose if we set out for them to have a purpose, such as mountain skiing or hiking.

Now if a kid repeats logical and justifiable answers, then there is actually a dead end, but the thing is we just don't know yet. We have been on this planet for dozens of thousands of years and it was only 500 years ago that we finally theorized the earth as not being the center of our universe. Why was it originally the center? Because we set it out to have a purpose.

All in all, why is a question revolved around purposeful thinking. The "how game" can actually be rooted down to what we know so far. E.G.-

How did we get here? We don't know yet, if we ever will.

Why are we here? No reason at all, unless you set it out to have a purpose. If you are a theist then you set out the purpose of God to create the universe, us included.

People seem to misconcept how the why question should be used. Why does the sun rise is not the same as how the sun rises.

Why does the sun rise? no reason.
How does the sun rise? It doesn't. Earth spins.

It is not logical or reasonable to play the "why game" with something that we have given no purpose to.
• #### Austin Williams

• +1
Jun 11 2013: "Why"if doesn't necessarily always ask for purpose. It can also ask for cause and effect. "Everything happens for a reason" can be interpreted as with either about purpose or cause. A cause is a reason. When you answer "why" you use the word "because", which answers a reason, purpose, or cause.
Example of cause and effect: Why did the car crash? Because the driver wasn't paying attention.
That asked for a cause (driver not paying attention) to the effect (crash).

"Why" is the cause, and "because" is the effect. The cause is asked, and the effect is answered.
• #### Brendan Olson

• 0
Jun 12 2013: I understand but you cannot ask why if the subject has no purpose. The car in your scenario had a purpose. Asking why is there a universe is not sensible because it has no purpose.
• #### Austin Williams

• 0
Jun 12 2013: Wouldn't asking why there is a universe be asking for a cause to the existence of the universe?
• #### Brendan Olson

• 0
Jun 12 2013: indeed, but there is no cause since we have not given it a cause.

• 0
Jun 11 2013: I'd add: Asking a 'why' or 'how' should be founded on a purpose. Why you are asking why this is so? What will you do with the answer?
It has been reasonably assured by science that there is no one description of reality, no one theory - we need an M-theory. There is no free will and there is no purpose disentangled from the intent. There is no objective truth independent of our observation even. It is tough to appreciate that but liberation is there in letting go of the ignorance.
• #### Brendan Olson

• 0
Jun 12 2013: I agree fully. As for M-theory, I'll believe it when it's proven. There is no solid evidence for it but I acknowledge they are working on it. As for now, I'll stay undeterred by the many many theories. M-theory is the one I do believe is most true though.
• #### edward long

• +3
Jun 8 2013: I think your assertion relies heavily on the behavior of youngsters who exhibit the cute but annoying "Infinite Why" behavior. Only in that demographic is your scenario observable. If you anwer those young, tenacious inquisitors with, "We do not know why that is so.", they will simply repeat "Why?" ad infinitum, or until their mind is captivated by a passing butterfly or some other astonishing wonder of God's world. Grown-ups don't normally employ the Infinite Why tactic. It is not valid to conclude that "all logic and reasoning is circular" based upon the premise that the simple question "Why?" can be invoked after every offered answer. At this point in my argument if you ask me "Why?" I will tell you it is because Man is not omniscient. If you respond again with "Why?" I will send you to your room without dessert!

• +2
Jun 10 2013: “So even though logic does get you from A to B, all logic eventually comes to a circular Z.” A to Z implies linearity. Since you are asking about circularity, I presume that you mean after Z the system of reasoning will start at A again. I think Fritzie wanted this clarified.

“So the idea is, no matter what your beliefs are, all of your logic will come to some sort of circle at some point.” Not necessarily. It is dependent on intent and context. The Aristotelian concept of establishing a truth solely on the basis of pure reason is not acceptable in modern times. Establishment of a postulate to be functionally true requires supplementation with observation and empirical evidence. You can call this approach a belief if you like but it is different from what we mean loosely by the word ‘belief’ in that it is testable and falsifiable. Circular reasoning is a fallacy (often leading to paradoxes) that arises when intent for using the logic and the context are overridden by the logic itself.

I think it is necessary for us to remember that logic is a mind prosthetic in as much as it is an aid for critical thinking but not thinking itself.

For example if we take the sentence: “This statement is false” without a context, it leads to a circular reasoning paradox (If the statement is true it cannot be false and vice verse).

‘Why’ questions may not be sincere always. When it is so, one way is to keep the circle as small as possible to save energy and time. An example below:

Q. Why the sun rises in the east?
A. Because the direction from where the sun rises is called the east.
Q. Why the direction from where the sun rises is called the east?
A. Because the sun rises in the east.
• #### Austin Williams

• 0
Jun 10 2013: I wasn't thinking of Z reverting all the way back to A, but that is also a possibility.
I was thinking of Z as being more of either a final answer, which all of the previous logic is based on. So Z is the foundation of it all.
Or that Z would be circular, going back to Y, going back to Z, and so on.

I posted this conversation on my Facebook also, and someone commented with
"Valid logic is based on an axiom.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/truth-axiomatic/ "
• #### Nicholas Lukowiak

• +2
Jun 9 2013: Circular reasoning, or circular logic, is innately fallacious due to the simplistic notions of western logic (some logical fallacies are actually proper in some circumstances)... However granted that induction is as valid as deduction, in reality... Circular logic is actually more like how we think as humans than straight out normal [pragmatic deductive] logic. Practicing circular thinking is benefiticial but with stipulation.

Indeed, A -> B because B -> A is not a great argument, but I never hear people actually just stick with the same exact A or B but reiterations of A and B. So, what stipulation should follow in the reasoning process is additional clauses. Every loop, or circle, around there is an added clause to the argument.

A -> B, B -> A (not valid).... A+A1 -> B, B -> A (still not valid).... A+A1+A2 -> B, B -> A (you get the point)

If A is an argument that cannot handle constant loops, then it is not valid argument, BUT if A is able to consistently be expanded, upgraded, and enhanced (1, 2, 3, etc) - there is likelihood the argument can stand up to future scrutiny. I guess this is more of what I call 'process logic' and not necessarily 'circular logic' therefore every 'circle' more should be added to the process of making a premise valid.

Again, this is more like how our brain works than accepted models of logic could configure - in fact trying to find the 'logic' of the mind is possibly one of the hardest things cognitive scientist have to do, because of factors like emotions, environment, culture, intelligence, personality and 'free will'. While we try to understand the mind rationally, we are irrational creatures.

(A) We are not 'logical' creatures (B) therefore we must make rules of logic that makes logic usage valid

*I do not agree

(A)(A1) but we understand what logic is consensually, (B)

*Still, I do not agree

(A)(A1)(A2) yet we understand rules are made to be broken (B)

*Now that's a good argument that logic can be valid...
• #### Entropy Driven

• +1
Jun 10 2013: Something can be fallaciously circular only when it can be in question. Logic might look circular, but in order to be fallaciously circular you would have to be able to question logic without using it. Otherwise it means that it is not circular in a fallacious way, but ,rather, that it is axiomatic.
• #### Nicholas Lukowiak

• 0
Jun 10 2013: I like what you are saying so far, but I need you to explain more. There may be a language barrier, where are you from?

I never agreed logic is entirely circular, per say, I said circular logic (reasoning) is valid, because it is how we naturally think, and if we regard holistic thinking and/or inductive reasoning - logic needs to either expand or be variable in of itself. Different types or methods of logic, not just one best.

Given the circumstances, the argument is going to have to maintain a practice of constantly being able to meet inquiry. Therefore asking as many questions it needs to prove A -works best with- B -or- equals to -or- causes -or- correlates -- in order to satisfy position or premise (A = B, A -> B, A~B, A+B, A=/=B, etc, etc, etc). The type of questions should also instruct the type of logic used to apply.

What is fallacious or not shouldn't be dependent on the argument itself or the instruments of argument, but the intent of the argument. Circularity is at the moment either valid or invalid. But in of itself, is not valid nor invalid, but a method which applies best in circumstance.

Hope you're not just learning English! Look forward to what are your thoughts!
• #### Entropy Driven

• 0
Jun 10 2013: I was agreeing with you. I was just offering a complement to your point that not all circles are fallacious.

Now I see that my grammar was all over the place because I semi-edited but did not read my comment again. Sorry about that. (I used a generic "you", which always gets me in trouble, an "it" whose referent is easily mistaken ...)
• #### Nicholas Lukowiak

• 0
Jun 11 2013: Yeah, now I see.

"It" would of been better because you were talking about the process - making the object and subject determination unnecessary - "It" (logical discourse) is at the same time going (being) and trying to be.

Use IT next time, it doesn't have feelings! People do!

Your comment kind of sounded spiritual to me lol; like a shaman who got a hold of philosophy textbook.

But axiomatic thinking is also problematic at the point of the foundation and substance of the axiom of thought. There is no basic logic, in a sense, we only are only teaching "logic" in one form in the classroom subject - deductive pragmatism. This foundation creates axioms of a particular "mode" or 'paradigm' of thinking..

Axioms are substantial with substance, and the value of substance gets established in some way.... by some people or groups or culture.. The individual can only defend their terms so much; eventually the axioms get trickier and trickier to unify.

Individualistic axiomatic thinking, in everyday decision making, would be a hectic practice but at the same time - amazingly benefiticial to everyday folk for overall development of their psyche and as a Self.

Thanks for your response and the post on this conversation!
• #### Fritzie -

• +2
Jun 8 2013: I am missing the circular aspect here. Circular reasoning is when you argue A is true because of B but then that B is true because of A. Arguing that A is true because of B and B true because of C and so forth to some basic premise Z does not sound circular.
• #### Austin Williams

• +1
Z = "Because I said so." Why? "Because I said so." And so on..
Y Z = "(Y) Because only God knows." Why? "(Z) I don't know. Ask God." Why? "(Y) Because only God knows." And so on..
• #### Fritzie -

• 0
Jun 8 2013: As I wrote, and it seems some others shared my question, what is circular here? Calling z a circular answer does not make it circular.

Now if what you are actually asking is not related to being circular but instead points to the idea that at some point the person giving the answers no longer knows why or must identify an originating premise, that is a different issue. Yes, series of questions may ultimately regress to a premise or an I don't know.
• #### Austin Williams

• +1
Jun 8 2013: Ok, I guess I should rephrase this then.
Z is a person's final answer, where it simply ends.
And Y Z is circular (or X Y Z).
So the idea is that all logic will either halt (final Z), or loop (circular Y Z); that no logic can withstand infinite whys.
• #### Fritzie -

• 0
Jun 8 2013: This does not add clarity for me, as it does not illustrate anything to be circular.
• #### Austin Williams

• +1
Jun 8 2013: Ok, let's say the child was questioning you on physics and this circularity happens.

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n261/philipcarter/humour/dilbert-1.jpg
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Austin,

Dilberts initial reasoning in frame one is flawed. We do not know that "mass creates gravity because dense planets have more gravity"

Density is the measure of the amount of mass per volume.

We know by common example that water is less dense in solid (ice) form then liquid, ice floats on water. So we know by very common examples that even if something has the same mass (weight) it can vary a lot in density.

So, the Dilbert is wrong and science wins again!

Dilbert - Science
0 - 1

• #### Fritzie -

• 0
Jun 8 2013: No, I had only one question, which was what makes this circular or whether perhaps circular is not the right label here. What is described in the thread launch and subsequent elaboration sounds very much to go in one direction without doubling back.

I notice others in the thread have wondered the same.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• +2
Jun 8 2013: Test this on me! I will give you answers longer then you can come up with questions.

Knowledge is not circular but it can all be derived to basics of epistemology, so any answer will eventually lead there. And it stops there.

• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 8 2013: Bananas are curved due to a phototropic chemical in their makeup called Auxin, which is an important part of the way plant organs are shaped. In particular the banana fruit grows upward and inward due to Auxin's attraction to the sun, causing its familiar curved shape.

The shape of a banana can be influenced by artificial light sources as well as the addition of ethylene gas (which is also associated with the ripening process in bananas and other fruits) as Auxin is linked to ethylene synthesis. Part of the uniqueness of bananas rests in their "negative geotropism"... the start out growing towards the ground as gravity would dictate but then, as the fruits mature and receive more light, start growing upwards due to their chemical makeup.
Source(s):
Banana info at http://www.banana.com/farming.html
Auxin info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxin
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: To help/make them grow.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: Come on ZX, another?
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: You're right... There's no reason. I just wanted to see where it would lead, if I was correct.

But let's skip it.

*Edit, misunderstood, writing answer now. ;-P
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: Because all life needs to grow and reproduce in order to exist.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: Could you send me an email, I would wish to have a private conversation and there's no emailing you from TED and I don't wish to put my email address here.
• #### Entropy Driven

• +1
Jun 10 2013: At the bottom (or top) all is reduced to existence, which is the basis for identity, which is the basis for logic. Not circular. Axiomatic. Try and deny identity without using identity. What would be what you're denying if there's no identity? What would deny mean of the word has no identity? ... Try and deny logic's validity without logic. If you can't deny logic without using logic then your denial is self-defeating.
• #### Austin Williams

• +1
Jun 9 2013: Although I wasn't here in time to see the comments before they got deleted, I thought
"Say what?" shows confusion, but when read, someone might interpret the tone of voice those words were used in a demeaning way. When we only have words to read, we interpret the tone of voice they were said in, and the tone of voice words are used can change their meaning in a lot of ways. For instance, "hey" has a large range of possible meanings depending on tone of voice. So it's important to know how written words may be interpreted, and to use them carefully.

"Did anybody understand that?" was interpreted to me as being loud, and attention seeking. Looking to other people to follow your confusion. I would suggest, instead, saying "Does anyone else understand what he means by this?"
"Did" implies that it already has been disagreed with, or misunderstood. And other people won't be as likely to be able to understand what you were asking about. It closes off thinking. "Does" gives an opportunity to understand, as no conclusion has been "done" (or "did").
And finishing a sentence with "that" implies that you are separate and/or distant from it. And distancing yourself from someone will make other people feel like they are taking sides when they agree or disagree with either of you. "This" would imply that you tried to understand, but are unable to follow. And you are not distancing yourself because of disagreement or communication.
When use say "I" and "you", it makes us sound separated, and sometimes people take it personally. Replacing those with words like "we" and "us" (as often as possible) gives a more togetherness sound, and it makes it easier to empathize and understand one another.
Simple word usage is very effective in enabling clear communication.
This is some stuff I've learned in my interpersonal communications class. They go over how to effectively and respectively argue, and that there are multiple ways of doing so; depending on your personality, and the situation.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: Hey Austin, (Don't know what to make of that?) :-P

I really wish that you were here to see the comments. Without them it seems as if I was the unprovoked attacker, as I'm the only one that you can see showing aggression.

I did get disrespectful, I admit that. But there were reasons for that. I do not believe that every behavior should be met with respect, understanding yes, but not respect.

I used my words exactly like I wanted, and I was aware of the implications. It (seems it) got a member deleted, and it wasn't me.

Do you agree that there may come a time in a debate when respect can no longer be shown? When you yourself have been so disrespected that you simply can't show any respect to that person.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 10 2013: Austin,

I apologize to you for ruining 12 hours of your conversation with my personal battle. I hope that there's no permanent damage to this conversation.

Edit* And for my Dilbert remark, obviously I was enraged, apologies.
• #### Della Palacios

• +1
Jun 9 2013: This is why Socrates enraged so many in his quest for truth.
• #### W T

• +1
Jun 8 2013: "And if a child played the "why game" with you, what would be your circular/final answer?"

As someone who has done this many times with little ones,
usually after the third or fourth why? and my explanations,
I will ask, don't you think that's cool?

It breaks the cycle.

But they do not use it approppriately, so you as the adult have to discern if they are truly curious, or they are just using the new found word.

Thought you might enjoy this:

http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n261/philipcarter/humour/dilbert-1.jpg

• #### W T

• +1
Jun 8 2013: Yes, I think you have something there......the why question may also be powerful because of this.
However, I think initially, it is powerful because it is the first time that the child is able to incite and engage another person in conversation.

I do think that kids are naturally curious.

Many parents blow out that curiosity spark by telling little ones to "stop it already, you're driving me crazy". Or, "I'll tell you later".

It really all depends on the child. Asking the right question in the right fashion is also a process that takes time. Many times what we think the child is asking is not what he really is wanting to know. As Colleen's example below demonstrates.

I have always liked curious minds. And I have enjoyed beeing taken down the road of why's to see where it leads......If the child is truly curious, he will also answer my questions, as I lead them into deep understanding of a topic. Being an elementary teacher, I've had lots of practice doing this.
• #### Colleen Steen

• +1
Jun 8 2013: Hi Austin,
In my perception and experience all questions are an opportunity to learn something. When my children asked questions, I gave them age appropriate information if I knew some of the answer, and I was not afraid to say "I don't know".....let's go look it up. This gave us an opportunity to learn something together.

I also found that sometimes, if a child was persistant in asking why...why....why, I asked THEM why.....what do YOU think about that? How do YOU feel about that? This practice encouraged and supported the idea of THEM coming to their own conclusions with exploration of their own thoughts, feelings and ideas.

My daughter, had been out playing in the yard one day with a friend, when she was about 2-3, and came running in the house with the question...."mom....where did I come from?"

My intent was always to give the kids age appropriate information, so I was pondering how to give her simple and true information about the reproductive system, when she got impatient with me and said...."MOM.....Susie came from Burlington......where did I come from"? She wanted the name of a city/town, and was not seeking information about the reproductive system!!! LOL:>)
• #### pat gilbert

• +1
Jun 8 2013: The answer will be "because"
• #### MR T

• 0
Jun 13 2013: Nobody knows how many times you could ask why and get an answer, so nobody knows whether all logic and reasoning is circular. End of.
• #### craig lastname

• 0
Jun 12 2013: There's a hole in the bucket.
• #### Bernard White

• 0
Jun 10 2013: I don't know. That would be my final answer.
• #### Nicholas Lukowiak

• 0
Jun 9 2013: You may like this one Austin: http://www.acmuller.net/yogacara/articles/buddhist_steps.html

• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Yeah, the only truth can come from the bible.

Here are some truths from the bible that I however have a hard time understanding, perhaps you could help me understand them.

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet." (1 Timothy 2:12)

"Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses." (1 Samuel 15:3)

"You shall not let a sorceress live." (Exodus 22:18)

"Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock." (Psalm 137:9)

"Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)

"Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse." (1 Peter 2:18)

*Edit: this comment was made for Don Weasly. He did however not wish to respond and deleted his comment.

• 0
Jun 9 2013: My logic is simple and "straight" forward,
will try to "encircle" each and every thing i can tell and a child can understand.
• #### Austin Williams

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Can you define what you mean by "straight" and "encircle"? This seems vague to me.

• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Say what?

Did anybody understand that?

• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: A day ago I was, and I quote "The devil" and now you have respect for me?

Don't play the victim here Don, you move around spreading your dogma here on TED. Accusing people of being the devil or influenced by the devil and then when we don't turn the other cheek to your outrageous accusations you go into the role of "What, little old me? I'm just a good well meaning christian that is subjugated to the tyranny of devil worshipers"

Don't fake your respect or love for me just to be victimized, be truthful to yourself and all the others here.

With (sarcastic) love.
Jimmy Strobl

• #### Colleen Steen

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Don,
It is not appropriate to label another TED member as having "borderline personality disorder", nor is it appropriate to continue telling TED members that they/we are being used by the devil!
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Don,

"Here is information."
Yes, text is information, it does not make it true. Stating an obvious truth to try and make the rest true wont work.
"You are injuring yourself - Borderline Personality Disorder it seems."
I am quite fine, I just wish to prevent you from spreading you zealotry unquestioned here on TED. I have no such disorder and I don't think that you have the qualifications to determine any psychological state of any human being.
Yes, another simple truth made to make the whole statement look true. I have no problem with them being there. I never delete and I never edit without adding an "*edit " text to the post. I stand for who I am and what I say. I'm not infallible, and if correctly pointed out I will revise my thinking on the question at hand.
"Love is simply a State of awareness and caring"
Then you don't have love since it is quite clear that you are not aware.
"I see the trouble you are in."
No, what you see is a subconscious reflection of yourself, and the trouble that YOU are in.
"You are not the devil."
Another obvious truth, made to make it all look true.
"He just uses you."
No he doesn't, he doesn't exist.
"That is it."
Apparently that wasn't it, since you had more to say.
"Thanks for the information."
What information are you thinking me for? This is just hypocrisy meant to make you look good. There is nothing to thank for here.
"Don"
Jimmy
• #### Allan Macdougall

• +3
Jun 9 2013: Jimmy, are we done with all this Don bashing now?

I haven't seen the comments from him because they've been deleted - but really, were his comments so bad as to warrant such a savaging from you? How do you know how he's feeling right now after that?

I don't share his faith either, but he is is flesh and blood like me. He has feelings like me. He therefore has my respect - faith or no faith.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: I was done, am done as soon as this comment is done.

You have not read his comments and yet you have respect for him? What about the respect for me then? Or do you consider my "bashing" to be unworthy of respect? While you do not know the reasons or presume that he was the victim.

Simply put, yes they were warranted.
I can imagine that he's feeling awful and angry right now, a feeling I wish on no one. But he was making some of us feel the same way, and had been for some time. There's a limit for how far someone can go (even here on TED) with that kind of zealotry that he was displaying.

It was not his faith, it was his way.

I can and do frequently have good debates on faith and religion, but he showed no respect for me and others and therefore didn't deserve any back in the long run.
I "bashed" him because I wanted him to feel like so many that he's driven away from TED.

The Admin deleted his account and not mine... There's got to be some point to that.

But yes, I am done.
• #### Allan Macdougall

• +1
Jun 10 2013: If you feel you are the victim, then I apologise.

My take on it, for what it's worth and from what I've seen, is that in an exchange of vitriol like this, both parties become victims - victims of their own dogma. Strongly held beliefs, whether it's creationism or atheism, are destructive if there is no willingness to understand the person behind the opposing view.

When people feel under attack, they tend to retreat too far back into their faith - a place where it feels safe to attack back in retaliation.

Since you ask, I respect you and many of your views more than you think. I'm just a bit concerned about someone who might be in a very dark place right now.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• +1
Jun 10 2013: No apologies needed, you're just being an empathetic human being.

And I can see your point in the "everybody's a victim" view, much like war. My beliefs are however not really that fanatically atheistic, like almost all atheists I'm (teapot) agnostic. I just choose to take the atheist side to counter theism. When people (like the person in question) repeatedly spread their dogmatic zealotry I will take a position that is equally strong on the opposite side of the argument. For every "God is great" I will give back one "There is no God". And for every "You are the Devil (or he controls you)" I will give back a "You are stupid and manipulative".

I have been trying to understand where he comes from and I actually know very much about his personal life, But I wont get into that here as it isn't appropriate.

That's a central problem with Theism then isn't it, that they are so easily offended by any claim that God does not exist while they don't think it the least offensive to claim that He does. Have you Seen "Richard Dawkins: Militant atheism"? http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_militant_atheism.html

Thank you for that respect, I judge that I've earned it in some manner. And it goes both ways Allan.
Your concern is heart warming, and even I feel a tiny bit of concern for him. But I do not wish him to return since I think that it's better for the community as a whole if he did not share his views here.

*Edit: Note that I tried reasoning with him for a long time before this outburst.
• #### . .

• 0
Jun 14 2013: I am deeply troubled by not being able to locate a TED member who had a long history of contributions. Before deciding to write, I allowed my anger, my bitterness, my grief, my frustration to simmer away and subside..and then I made up my mind that I was going to make a different world and we can do that together.

We have come together here from every corner of the globe to create a community. None of us are perfect. Our mutual interest is connections and exchanges that inspire our positive growth.

I believe that our common purpose is to not only step forward with openness and walk towards mutual understanding but to set the stage and the tone for an inclusive collaboration on progress for those who walk these paths after us. This may be the only way for most of us to be the change we wish to see in this world.

If our intention were to fight to the elimination of those who come to our community from different life experiences, belief systems, and perceptions than our own, then we are not only wasting the opportunity that our host has graciously provided, but we are also working against everything that it stands for.

I especially admire your unselfish regard for and devotion to the welfare of others and know that you too are unsettled by the disconnection of that membership. Whenever another person is cut off from community resources because of our action, we have harmed the whole. That calls for righting our wrong. To err is human and it is in making good on our mistakes that we remain true to our self.

Solution exists: negate our karma to zero, and we can do that together. Allen Savory can not bring back 40,000 elephants, so he devoted his life to restoring world's barren lands, I became angry with my self for being a silent bystander to this conversation, I was wrong, now I am choosing not to be like those in Peter Singer’s video, so I am writing to right my own wrong. you can find Don, and restore his membership status.Please do:)
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 16 2013: I'm sorry that this upset you Juliette.

It seems Don has been banned, I do not know this but all evidence points toward it. I did not flag his profile or any of his comments, I did not write to TED in any way to complain or report him. I did not delete his profile (I have no such powers).

I also believe in mutual understanding and openness, but only to a certain extent. I believe that the Terms of use are here for a good reason and that having an Admin team is good for the community as a whole, better even then letting everyone write anything on here.

So what do I perceive as crossing that line when you're no longer welcome (Banned)? Breaking the terms of use to much or too frequently is a key factor, and I think that he did that by zealotry and proselytizing way too much. I therefore don't think that this has harmed the whole but rather helped it. Again, I did not get him banned, he got himself banned. It is the Admins choice. (But if it were mine I would do the same thing).

I hear you plea, and it's heartwarming but. I cannot find Don, I have no more contact information on him then anyone here. And I don't have any power to restore his account, I'm just a regular member. But even if I could do all of that I wouldn't, I think the Admin made the right choice on this.

I'm sorry that this hurts you and that we don't agree on this, but there's nothing I can (or want to) do about this.
• #### . .

• +1
Jun 27 2013: I know if we talk about this for a while, we would formulate brilliant solutions, but we have little time to help a man in need of basic life support.

We each have one (1) purpose and reason for being on this Earth; being what we were born to be. It is a process, it takes time and conscious effort.

After seeing the wisdom of TED’s 30-year life-saving works, I trust in their leadership.This is a global public service inviting all to promote spread of good ideas. We participate in this community, I believe, because we are all equally troubled with the intolerance that plagues humanity. And I believe if anything could be the functional definition of tolerance in our times, it would be TED.

We are drawn in by the same hopes and desires. We all seek understanding. Intolerance is out not individuals. There is no place for it in humanity. What we mean to ban is humiliation and hopelessness. Anything contrary would be in direct negation of the vision and core mission of our host. When TED knows the truth, they will not only restore his membership instantly but also issue an apology to him.

Labeling too is out because “once you label me, you negate me. I am no longer me and now I must live up to the expectation placed on me by that label”.

Here wrong happened in very much the same way that Savory solicited pre-justified enactment on 40,000 elephants. And the rest of us stood around like bystanders and passersby in Singer’s talk video. (Have u watched?)

Technology, entertainment or design, as exciting as they may be, don’t make us better. Opening ourselves to technology, entertainment or design can only hurt us faster, deeper and more. What makes us better is our Tolerance, Empathy and Drive. A true human being never cuts off another from resources of livelihood. Listen to the 1500+ TED Talks and tell me which ones don’t make this conclusion.

If it were you missing, I'd be putting your name in my next sentence.I request the restoration of membership to Don Wesley.

• 0

• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: So you found it useful?
• #### Austin Williams

• +2
Jun 9 2013: Jimmy, while you are making your point, you are using unnecessary, belittling comments to others. We are here to discuss the idea of circular logic and reasoning. Not to get personal and using "you" language. Please show some respect even if you disagree with someone. It is possible to point out contradictions without the addition of insults. Please stop focusing on labeling people and being labeled, and stick to the topic of the discussion.
• #### Jimmy Strobl

• 0
Jun 9 2013: Austin,

I didn't use it to "others" I used it against one person. A person who was clearly out of line and had been for a long time. A person who now seems to be banned from TED.com. for the past several days he has been calling me "the devil" and other stuff, simply because I disagree with him.

On the other hand most theists tend to see it as in insult when you question their belief in an uncomfortable way.

Would you care to point out specifically (quoting) where and why I did wrong. If I have wronged you or anyone else on this Conversation (except Don) I would like to know how. and if I see it reasonable I will naturally apologize.
• #### gale kooser

• 0
Jun 8 2013: There is never a final answer cause the questions keep going forward and if a person can't answer a question you go to someone, or something, who can.
• #### george lockwood

• 0
Jun 8 2013: Look are you talking about Godel's proof or what?