April 14, 2008

Practicing Theory

"Communism works in theory, but not in practice."

Ever hear this? There is an inherent flaw in this logic.

Let's say I claim to have a magic ring that makes people want to give me money when I wear it. But, the ring does not work. Was it a good theory?

No. I liked the theory, because I was looking forward to the results that the theory promised. But, it was a terrible theory, because there was no good reason to believe that it would make good on the promise. It was mere wishful thinking.


Marc said...

Logical fallacy police!

Communism, evaluated as a theory, functions well in a perfectly logical simulation (which your ring does not). The problem, and the difference between "theory" and "practice" is the human element, which introduces profoundly illogical wrenches into the logical workings of the theory. So it is possible to independently evaluate the logical "theory" of an idea separately from the human-drenched reality of its implementation.

so I have to ask, what was the evidence or line of reason that compelled you to derive your "free money ring" theory?

Eric Olsen said...

that's my point. the "theory" of communism ignores the fact that there are humans involved. that's a pretty significant part of the theory, making it a terrible one.

Stacy Peterson said...

that is why theory and practice are different... anyway, long conversation

Eric Olsen said...

but, once a theory is proven wrong in practice, how can it still be considered a "workable" theory?

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