Tag Archives: Negative

My brain is pessimistic and negative

31 Dec

I now realize it is a FACT.  I can’t trust my brain. Every ‘to do’ feels like a big deal!  Time and time again.  But ONCE I start, the task shrinks to ‘no big deal’.

I’ve known about this phenomenon for a long time. But for some reason, the reality of this fact penetrated my reasoning last night and I knew it once and for all as TRUE.

My mother would often tell me: ‘Maria – the thinking is the worst part!”

So what kinds of things does my brain lie to me about?  What does my brain try to convince me to avoid doing because it’s going to be PAINFUL?  Things like:

  • getting out of bed to go downstairs and work out in the morning
  • recording a new video for a YouTube channel I operate
  • facing Monday mornings and the start of a new teaching week at school
  • gathering and sorting receipts for our annual tax return
  • solving a sticky tech challenge or other problem
  • preparing a meal ahead of time for tomorrow (for it to marinate in the frig overnight)

I know it sounds pathetic, but when one of the above and many other tasks loom, I start to dread the idea of facing it.

Each and every time.

But once I start, and certainly by the time I have finished, I can say with sincerity, “Well, that really wasn’t such a big deal!  I don’t know why I dreaded it.”

I’ll tell you why, it’s because the brain optimizes for pleasant.  And all these ‘things I gotta do’ don’t feel pleasant to my brain.  My brain casts each in a heavy light, as burdens to bear and ‘get through’. So I dread them.

Here’s what I realized last night:   I don’t HAVE to listen to my brain.  I can use my reasoning skills to silence my brain.  I’M in charge.  Not my brain.

So, here’s to the start of a new year.

I’m no longer going to listen to my brain.  I’m just going to say ‘Shut up!  I’m in charge here.”

By God’s grace, I will exercise the reasoning skills He has given me to silence my pessimistic and negative brain!

I looked up all the proverbs on how to deal with a fool. The one I chose I’ve modified to fit this new discovery about my untrustworthy brain.

Prov 12:15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

In my case against my brain, I will remember:  The way of my brain seems right to it….but reason-based Maria makes decisions that are best for her, ignoring that reptilian pessimist!




Gotta stay positive

28 Aug

All Chocolate is satisfying

Ghirardelli is chocolate

Tf, Ghirardelli is not satisfying   

What???  That doesn’t make sense!

You’re right.  Our mind easily balks because Premise 1 and Premise 2 are both affirmative propositions, they are A statements.  And the senseless conclusion is a negative proposition, an E statement (No Ghirardelli is satisfying).

Below is the chart that shows the 4 kinds of propositions and their Quality (Affirmative or Negative)

Affirmative  Propositions                      Negative Propositions

in this column                                         in this column

A – All dogs are cuddly E – No dogs are cuddly
I – Some dogs are cuddly O – Some dogs are not cuddly

So, back to chocolate and the question of validity – We are continuing with our extended lesson of

  • “How to examine a syllogism and see if it’s valid”

There are 7 rules in our Validity Checklist that we must run down to determine if a syllogism is valid , that is, in the correct form.  Last time, we showed that NO conclusion whatsoever can be drawn from 2 negative propositions.  Today, we see from Rule # 6 that

  • if premise 1 & 2 are affirmative, then the conclusion MUST be affirmative as well.

So what happens if someone has asserted a negative claim about health care such as:

  • No costly plans are possible

and when you ask the person WHY??? (Whoever makes an assertion is required to back it up with reasons) he/she says:

Premise 1 – All government plans are possible

Premise 2 – All costly plans are government plans

They’ve JUST articulated two affirmative reasons for their NEGATIVE conclusion of “ No costly plans are possible”

Before you jump in (or down your conversation partner’s throat) and start giving YOUR reasons why you disagree, you have every right to encourage this person to explain what she has either

  • left out on purpose
  • left out because she is not THINKING

Remember, there is absolutely NO point in arguing about an invalid argument.  And a negative conclusion drawn from 2 affirmative premises is one of the 7 ways an argument can be deemed invalid.

An argument (syllogism) must win the ‘Good Logician’s Stamp of Validity ‘ to be considered ready to meet the next criterion – are the premises TRUE.