The real truth is that we hardly ever truly have conclusions, ie decisions arrived after logical analysis. In reality we make the decision at an instinctual level, driven by feelings and ego, and then justify it after the fact with a rational structure. All of us. All of the time.

You may very well have come to the same conclusion were you to truly make an objective analysis of the information you have available but that doesn’t mean it’s what you are actually doing.

Your after-the-fact rational justification of your position may be logically complete and consistent but it’s not the way you’re actually making your decision on who to support.

I’m curious if you have any facts… err, I mean data to support these statements or if you just made them all up. How do you know instinctual decisions are the product of feelings and ego and not logic-based heuristics?

I admit that if I’m walking down the street, scrolling through something on my phone and reach an intersection where the sign is telling me not to walk, that I instinctually don’t walk. I don’t pause from my phone scrolling to look around and make the optimal decision about whether to walk or wait; I just go with what the sign says as a matter of instinct. If it’s telling me to walk, I glance around and then go if it looks safe.

I acknowledge this is a snap decision, one made at an instinctual level. But, does it follow that it is therefore driven by feelings and ego? It seems to me you could conjecture a lot of different things about how that process happens, so I would need to see a cogent argument for your position with some supporting facts (data?) to believe you on that one.

We can look at a less trivial, perhaps more political action I take by rote at this point in my life, which is recycling. I recycle. I didn’t always recycle and, at some time in the past, I didn’t even know what recycling was. I learned what recycling was and then decided it seemed like a good idea to recycle. How could you say I have made an after-the-fact rational justification for recycling when I didn’t start recycling until after I had learned what recycling was and decided it was a good idea based on the facts (data?) that I encountered on the subject?

I have given an example of a trivial, instinctual decision and an example of a deliberate decision, but neither seems to conform to your notion that I’m arriving at my decisions through illogical means. I do not pretend to have objective command of all the facts around the logistics of maneuvering through a given crosswalk or the full spectrum of data about recycling, so of course the decisions I make regarding these subjects (and all subjects) are not fully objective and subject to error, but that does not make them illogical. In fact, that is almost the textbook definition of an inductive logical process. It is the same reason I never expect a result of 13 to come up when I roll two dice in a Monopoly game.

An illogical decision (if you’re concerned about your own well-being) would be to always wait until the sign at the crosswalk indicates stop before you go, and go before you stop, or to throw a bunch of non-recyclable items into the recycle bin in an effort to help the planet and, meanwhile, throw all the recyclables in the trash. It’s not an objective, metaphysical certainty that taking these approaches would be suboptimal, but it is highly likely, and, therefore, it would be illogical to do so.

I think you have conflated objective certainty with logical best practices. It may not be an objective certainty that Trump will make for a terrible president, but it does seem likely, given all the facts (data) that surround him. What if, instead of a presidential election, you were betting on Trump vs. Lebron James in a game of one-on-one basketball. Assuming you don’t hate money, which one are you going to bet on? What would you say about people who bet on Trump in that situation? That’s a pretty simple decision and analysis all around, right? The question to ask yourself, then, is, just how different of a situation is it to vote for Trump in a presidential election if we assume you don’t hate the idea of maximizing your chances for a higher quality of life? It seems like a far more complex situation, but is it, really, if we eliminate all the superfluous, counterfactual information out there?

This is not to say I support voting for Clinton, either. I will not vote for either of these candidates, and I don’t advocate voting for either. I, for one, have this (admittedly highly subjective) idea based on all the facts (data) made available to me that my vote is better used voting for someone else, and my time on election day is certainly better spent doing almost anything else under the Sun than voting for either Clinton or Trump.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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