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My father is a physicist who is supposedly very good at his job (he works for a major aerospace corporation and has patented a design for solar cells) but is so hopelessly irrational in every other area of his life that I sincerely believe he wasn't fit to have children. It's not just that he has philosophical problems, it's as though his actual IQ drops by 50% and he devolves into somethng absolutely infantile as soon as he leaves work. His ability to handle logic is so poor that I now refuse to discuss anything serious or important with him. The woman he married, my mother, is well below average intellectually, does not have the capacity to be rational in any area of her life, and is, in my opinion, an all around failure of a human being. How could a supposedly intellegent man be attracted to such an abomination as her? How is it even possible?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree, this is a perfect match. Your father clearly thinks that there is no intellectual value outside of his work. His choice in spouse represents that. Be very clear that your father has made an error that he may never choose to realize/fix. You know what to do, it's absolutely possible to value/recognize morality outside of work.

http://atlasshrugged.com/ayn-rand-works/ar...-education.html

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  • 1 month later...
My father is a physicist who is supposedly very good at his job (he works for a major aerospace corporation and has patented a design for solar cells) but is so hopelessly irrational in every other area of his life that I sincerely believe he wasn't fit to have children. It's not just that he has philosophical problems, it's as though his actual IQ drops by 50% and he devolves into somethng absolutely infantile as soon as he leaves work. His ability to handle logic is so poor that I now refuse to discuss anything serious or important with him. The woman he married, my mother, is well below average intellectually, does not have the capacity to be rational in any area of her life, and is, in my opinion, an all around failure of a human being. How could a supposedly intellegent man be attracted to such an abomination as her? How is it even possible?

Why do you think that your father and mother are irrational?

Edited by ctrl y
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My father is a physicist who is supposedly very good at his job ... His ability to handle logic is so poor...

He can't be a succesful physicist without the ability to handle logic. That leaves the problem either in the area of communication with you (for reasons that are the fault of one or both of you), or in the area of your (in)ability to evaluate his intelligence.

I can only figure out if the latter is true or not, since I only have you to talk to, so: How old are you, and what are some of your greatest accomplishments as far as using logic goes?

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Einstein is the worst example ever to bring up, if you're looking to disprove that succesful physicists can handle logic.

Are you saying that Einstein was not a successful physicist, or that he did not take irrational philosophic positions?

Edited by ctrl y
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Are you saying that Einstein was not a successful physicist, or that he did not take irrational philosophic positions?

This is a thread that revolves around the concept "logic", right? So, it's safe to assume that you know what logic is, since you posted answers in this thread, right?

How 'bout you now use some of that logic, and explain to me how my statements that

A : All successful physicists can handle logic; and

B : Einstein is a poor example to use, to disprove A;

can be used to deduce either of those two options in your question from?

Either that, or admit that you did not use logic to speculate about what I'm saying.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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This is a thread that revolves around the concept "logic", right? So, it's safe to assume that you know what logic is, since you posted answers in this thread, right?

How 'bout you now use some of that logic, and explain to me how my statements that

A : All successful physicists can handle logic; and

B : Einstein is a poor example to use, to disprove A;

can be used to deduce either of those two options in your question from?

Either that, or admit that you did not use logic to speculate about what I'm saying.

By "handle logic," I mean, "apply reason consistently, to all areas of life."

A is disproved by Einstein if Einstein was a successful physicist and could not handle logic. You hold that A is not disproved by Einstein. Therefore, you hold either that Einstein was not a successful physicist or that he could handle logic.

Which is it?

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By "handle logic," I mean, "apply reason consistently, to all areas of life."

A is disproved by Einstein if Einstein was a successful physicist and could not handle logic. You hold that A is not disproved by Einstein. Therefore, you hold either that Einstein was not a successful physicist or that he could handle logic.

Which is it?

In that case it's the first, Einstein wasn't a successful physicist.

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People compartmentalize their thinking and judgment as naturally as they breathe, eat and drink. Finding people who are brilliant artistically or scientifically but nincompoops politically or ethically is far from difficult.

I have in mind the late Leni Rafenstahl, a positive genius when it came to making film extravaganzas. She filmed -Triumph of the Will- which was a slam bang documentary with Cecil B. DeMille dimensions. Her portrayal of beautiful male athletes (Aryan, of course) are unequaled. When it came to film, lenses, angles, scenario arrangements, choreography she was unequaled. Her cinematic talent remained prime until very old age (she died at 100 years of age). In old age she made some of the best docmentaries of underwater sea life in the tropics.

However, when it came to ethical judgments she was a total cretin. She sensed her opportunities for advancement and latched on the the Nazi cause. It is unlikely she had the wits to be an ideological Nazi, but she sure failed at the basic task of distinguishing right from wrong. Long after the defeat of Germany, she still could not understand why so much hostility was directed toward her. I believe she was perfectly sincere in her bufudlment.

Then there are top scientists who in spite of their obvious intellectual gifts cleave unto the socialist view of politics. Einstein was such a one. Who can doubt his intelligence. He was a genius, but politically a very naive person (if you are charitable) or a dunce (if you are not). Richard Feynman on the other hand was a genius at physics and also no fan of The Powers That Be. In the post Challenger hearing, Feynman (in his last public service) demonstrated that NASA is run by dummies and burocrats. He demonstrated that the management of NASA through sheer political compliance and CYA inclination doomed the crew of Challenger in 1986. His simple elegant demonstration of how the O-rings crumble into dust after being dipped in ice-water is a classic and very typical of Feynman's down to earth straightforward approach. Feynman died in 1988 of cancer. Aside Remark: It would have been very informative to see what Feynman would have made of the AGW scare. His contemporary Freeman Dyson, who is in his late 80s now and was a close friend of Feynman dumped all over the climate models that grounded the IPCC stand. Dyson is very independent on such institutional stands.

Now let me depart from the general question of compartmentalization as ask the O.P.; what facts underlie his rather harsh judgment of his parents? It is clear he thinks his Dad, acts one way at work and another way not at work (but that is hardly unusual). He seems to have little regard for his mother. We get his judgment, but what are the facts underlying the judgment? It would helpful to know some facts, rather than deal in blunt assertions. It is not unusual for young men to, at some stage in their lives, think their parents are devoid of wit. In fact this if very typical among intelligent young men according to my own experience. I am both a son and a father. That is why some facts (as opposed to judgments) would be useful in this question.

Bob Kolker

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  • 2 weeks later...
People compartmentalize their thinking and judgment as naturally as they breathe, eat and drink. Finding people who are brilliant artistically or scientifically but nincompoops politically or ethically is far from difficult.

I have in mind the late Leni Rafenstahl, a positive genius when it came to making film extravaganzas. She filmed -Triumph of the Will- which was a slam bang documentary with Cecil B. DeMille dimensions. Her portrayal of beautiful male athletes (Aryan, of course) are unequaled. When it came to film, lenses, angles, scenario arrangements, choreography she was unequaled. Her cinematic talent remained prime until very old age (she died at 100 years of age). In old age she made some of the best docmentaries of underwater sea life in the tropics.

However, when it came to ethical judgments she was a total cretin. She sensed her opportunities for advancement and latched on the the Nazi cause. It is unlikely she had the wits to be an ideological Nazi, but she sure failed at the basic task of distinguishing right from wrong. Long after the defeat of Germany, she still could not understand why so much hostility was directed toward her. I believe she was perfectly sincere in her bufudlment.

Then there are top scientists who in spite of their obvious intellectual gifts cleave unto the socialist view of politics. Einstein was such a one. Who can doubt his intelligence. He was a genius, but politically a very naive person (if you are charitable) or a dunce (if you are not).

An observation: It seems that in the cases of Rafenstahl and Einstein the compartmentalization of rationality focused around highly technical, esoteric disciplines (ie. film-making and physics) where personal judgment is largely insulated from the corrupting influence of the pack; the majority of people are simply too ignorant to react to unconventional ideas in specialized fields. In contrast, everybody has an opinion on ethics and politics and going against the grain could provoke hostility from any random passer-by who overhears you; the threat of pariahdom and approval withdrawal is much stronger and ubiquitous.

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My father is a physicist who ..... The woman he married, my mother....

How did you turn out? Did they have nothing at all to do with how you've turned out? What is the context of how they grew up?

You are actually asking a deeply personal question which I doubt anyone on this board could really answer for you. We have absolutely no context on your relationship with your parents, their backgrounds, etc. etc. I don't know you, so don't take it personally when I say that how you present your parents to us may be very subjective depending on a lot of personal facts about which we do not know.

I do have to concur with what Jake said though; it is not likely that your dad is a competent physicist while at the same being incapable of understanding logic.

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  • 3 months later...
My father is a physicist who is supposedly very good at his job (he works for a major aerospace corporation and has patented a design for solar cells) but is so hopelessly irrational in every other area of his life that I sincerely believe he wasn't fit to have children. It's not just that he has philosophical problems, it's as though his actual IQ drops by 50% and he devolves into somethng absolutely infantile as soon as he leaves work. His ability to handle logic is so poor that I now refuse to discuss anything serious or important with him. The woman he married, my mother, is well below average intellectually, does not have the capacity to be rational in any area of her life, and is, in my opinion, an all around failure of a human being. How could a supposedly intellegent man be attracted to such an abomination as her? How is it even possible?

Maybe he's not actually a good physicist.

Maybe he's just perceived as a good physicist, by you and by some of the people he works with.

It's much easier for a bad physicist to be perceived as a good physicist at a major aerospace corporation than at a very small corporation.

I work for a major aerospace corporation and I'm surrounded by people who have a lot of patents and who are perceived by others to be intelligent, but I know for a fact that many of them are not very intelligent at all.

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it's also possible that your father is a good physicist, and that he is perfectly capable of understanding logic, but that he makes a conscious or unconscious decision not to apply logic to the other area's of his life. I have seen many examples of people like this around me as I watch brilliant mathematicians, or brilliant architects tell me that that sort of logic has no place in philosophy, or politics, or interactions with other people. What I believe is that these people are perfectly capable of understanding and applying logic, and that at some point in their life they actually did try to apply it to politics or philosophy, but they were so overwhelmingly beat down by the irrationality of others that they decided it was easier to refuse to apply logic except where it was absolutely necessary for survival (ie, their work). If I had to make a guess I would say that this is exactly what happened with your father.

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