We are continuing our study of the nature and characteristics of Greek rational/logical thought.
This is the style of thinking the majority of the world operates under, especially in the West.
In my last post, I pointed out that rational/logical thought adheres to an IF/THEN way-of-thinking.
For example, IF I work harder, THEN I will be promoted is the basic thought structure of Greek thinkers.
I also explained that Greek thought looks at things as if they are systems comprised of many tiny sub-systems and then illustrated this by using a car and the human body as examples.
Today, let’s take this discussion a little further.
The Greek rational/logical style-of-thinking is generally divided into two main categories.
They are DEDUCTIVE REASONING and INDUCTIVE REASONING.
Deductive reasoning operates by forming conclusions based on hard, cold and objective facts.
Here’s a good example of deductive reasoning.
HARD & COLD FACT 1: All human beings have hearts that pump blood.
HARD & COLD FACT 2: Bill is a human being.
CONCLUSION: Bill has a heart that pumps blood.
So deductive reasoning attempts to achieve mathematical certainty based on established facts.
Next, let’s take a look at inductive reasoning.
This type of reasoning attempts to pick up pieces of information here and there and then combine it with our life experiences and knowledge to come up with a reasonable or probable conclusion of why something is or will be so.
So rather than being based on hard facts like deductive reasoning is, inductive reasoning is based on observation.
Here is one example.
OBSERVATION 1: My co-worker Jack came to work late this morning.
OBSERVATION 2: There was a huge snowstorm this morning.
EXPERIENCE: The trains usually run late when there is a huge snowstorm.
CONCLUSION: The trains ran late today causing Jack to be late.
In spite of their differences, both deductive and inductive reasoning rely on rational/logical thinking.
So we can see that Greek thinking is LINEAR and EVOLUTIONARY.
THOUGHT A leads to THOUGHT B which progresses on to THOUGHT C.
Greek rational/logical thinking also views history as a straight line that began at some undefined point in the past and continues straight on into the endless future.
Greek thinkers also do NOT believe the past is a predictor of the future, to them history is non-repeating.
In a Greek thinker’s mind, reliable patterns do not exist in history.
Another major characteristic of Greek thinking is always asking the question “Why?“
That’s why when it comes to the Kosher food laws, a Greek thinker will always propose health reasons as to why God handed down the Kosher food laws.
This is pure Greek thinking in action.
In Greek thinking, the question of WHY something happened is defined by HOW something happened or WHAT happened.
It only focuses on a specific event at a specific time.
The past and future have no connection with each other, and little if any connection to the current situation.
Another important characteristic of Greek thinking is that it is DISCONNECTED from relationships and connections to other things.
This is key.
For example, here is a typical example of the difference between rational/logical thought in the workplace.
Let’s say, you have two employees who work at X Corporation, Jane the Greek thinker and Tomoko the analogical thinker.
When Jane the Greek thinker has finished her work for the day, she decides to clock out exactly at her fixed finishing time which is 6pm sharp.
It matters not to Jane that her co-workers are still working furiously away at their respective projects and are probably going to be putting in a great deal of overtime.
She also doesn’t care that her boss is still in the office.
As far as she’s concerned, she has finished her work, so she can leave the office guilt-free.
Her style of thinking does NOT consider her connection to relationships and connections to other things in her office.
Tomoko, the analogical girl, on the other hand, she also has finished her work early but she is not so quick to leave the office at the fixed ending time.
The reason is because she is viewing things in light of her RELATIONSHIPS and CONNECTIONS to other things in the office.
How will my relationship with my co-workers be affected if I just get up and leave, even though, technically speaking, it is okay to leave?
Maybe I should ask my co-workers if they need some help, so we can all leave TOGETHER a little earlier than usual.
Also, how will my boss view me if I just leave while everybody is still working?
See the difference between Jane and Tomoko?
Can you can see how rational/logical thinking operates best in a vacuum AWAY FROM relationships and connections to other things?
This was the style of thinking of the Hellenists who we all know didn’t get along very well with the Jews.
Once I get into my explanation on analogical thought, you’ll begin to understand why Greek rational/logical thinking just doesn’t know what to do with the Hebrew style of thought.
Greek thought and Hebrew thought are that radically different from each other.
However, having said all that, let me just state for the record that there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the Greek style of rational/logical thought.
Rational/logical thought isn’t necessarily evil.
But you’ve got to terms with the fact that the writers of the Bible were NOT Greek in their thinking style and it has certain built-in limitations and weaknesses, such as the following:
-The physical universe God created doesn’t necessarily operate in a rational/logical way.
-Greek thinking is “man-centered” and limited to the four observable dimensions of length, width, height and time. Thus, only things that can be observed through our five senses are considered real.
-It depends completely on the power of the human mind to make decisions and judgements. If something cannot be proven through logic or reason it is instantly thrown out the window.
So this concludes my little primer on Greek rational/logical thought.
From my next post, I’m going to explain the style of thinking in which the Holy Bible was written: ANALOGICAL THOUGHT.