Mothers are usually right. They are able to arrive at the appropriate conclusion without having to rely on logic. Perhaps because they have the greater responsibility of raising children, especially in the early childhood years, Providence has bestowed on them of a higher degree of intuition than it has on us fathers. Mothers intuit; fathers deduce. It is a generalization, of course. The feminine tends to be intuitive, the masculine logical. (This is not to suggest that women lack logic or men intuition).
I say this with admiration. Logic involves parameters which necessarily limit conclusions to those that are logically deduced. Intuition on the other hand arises from inspiration and who knows where inspiration comes from? Intuited conclusions are not confirmed before but only after they are reached. It’s like not seeing a road sign until after you have passed it. Intuition is a gift and those who possess it are blessed.
But, as boringly predictable as logic may be it is no less worthy of admiration. Logic provides the common ground on which ideas are communicated and accepted. It supplies the building blocks and processes for development. It is, in a word, rational.
As with faith and reason intuition and logic complement each other. Logic respects intuition although it cannot explain it. Intuition honors logic for it understands that ordered existence without it would be impossible. When intuition and logic partner they make for a fruitful marriage and a healthy society.
But what happens when the bond is broken? Or, more to the point, what happens when logic ceases to function?
Here’s a Father’s Day musing. What will be the consequence of our society’s cavalier habit of redefining terms? It is a practice that eschews logic because it assumes there are no constants. “Pro-choice” morphs from a woman’s right to become or not to become pregnant to a woman’s ‘right’ to abort her baby. Where is the logic there? “Marriage equality” sounds noble (who would gainsay equality?) But, the phrase misleads. It empties marriage of any meaning. Marriage is logically the contractual union of a man and a woman for the sake of mutual fulfillment the procreation of children. If the definition of marriage is so expanded to include two women or two men “marrying” why – logically – can it not be further expanded to include polygamy or polyandry?
Sometimes the absence of logic can be amusing. I remember when the term “colored people” was socially acceptable. Today a user of that phrase would be condemned as a racist. However, he would encounter no reaction were he to say ‘people of color’. Likewise with the word ‘homosexual’. If I identify someone as homosexual I am considered a bigot. If, instead, I say he’s ‘gay’ I come across as sensitive and accepting. Where is the logic?
Here’s to the world’s fathers. They can be tender, compassionate and artistic. But, high on the list of their paternal traits is their tendency to be logical and to teach their children that actions have consequences.