Do Binaries Exist in Human Nature?

Topics: Mind, Good and evil, Thought Pages: 4 (1458 words) Published: September 21, 2011
Here “binaries” refers to opposites, while human rationality is the way the mind thinks or uses logic. Therefore, the meaning of this statement is that the human mind believes that most things have an opposite. Now it is true that generally the human mind thinks in binaries but this belief that everything has an opposite is flawed and incorrect. This essay will add a third dimension to the argument and will prove that how that belief is flawed.

We can see how most of us believe that everything has an opposite, for whenever we think opposites we say, yes, there is light and dark, good and evil, yin and yang. However there are two flaws to this. Firstly, this is a fallacy of over-generalization as not everything can have an opposite. Secondly, the examples of opposites stated above are some of the most obvious examples that come to our mind. Therefore, we need to initially look at what the meaning of “opposite” is. Opposite as a noun has 3 meanings: 1) One that is opposite or contrary to another,

2) An opponent or antagonist,
3) An antonym.
Looking at these three meanings we can infer that all three of them relatively mean the same thing. So now we must see in what way do we mean opposite. As in, do we mean a true opposite or do we mean an abstract opposite. We cannot consider an abstract opposite. An abstract opposite of something would be a “not-IT”. This is the logic used when people say that the opposite of a cat is a dog. But then again a parrot could also be an opposite of a cat. And with the logic that if two things are opposite to one thing then they must be the same, would mean that a dog and parrot is the same thing which is fundamentally incorrect. Another example is that of “What is the opposite of a spoon?” Some say to this “Fork”. But then what becomes of the knife? Therefore, we should consider a true opposite.

Now how can we consider an opposite? Would a true opposite be something that is different from the original in its characteristics?...

Cited: • “Opposite – Definition of opposite by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.” Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus – The Free Dictionary. Web. 15 Nov. 2010.
• “The Crusades.” History Learning Site. Web. 15 Nov. 2010.
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