Logical thinking 5 Appeal to nature or tradition

A fisherman at work—traditions play a key role in our modern life, but is that role changing?

In this lesson we'll discuss nature and traditions, and decide what role they should play in logical decision making.

Warm Up: 

A man went to see a medicine woman who sells natural remedies. One of her items was plain water. The woman said that water is natural, and people have been drinking it for a very, very long time; therefore it is good. So the man bought a liter of water and used it instead of antibiotics.

Did the man make a good choice? Why? What's the root of the problem?


Do you feel that traditions are important in modern life? Why?

We will discuss traditions and nature. What do you think of the following idea:

The way it has always been,
is the way it should continue to be.

What does that mean to you? Are all traditions good? Can you think of some examples?

Ideas of good and bad are not an objective issue, they are subjective. Here is some language to discuss subjective topics:

  •     Well, it depends on the person…
  •     To be honest, in my case, I think…
  •     I can see where you are coming from….

However, we can quantify some parts as objective:

Opinions about natural remedies depend on the person, but antibiotics are objectively more powerful when we are dealing with infections. However, I think natural remedies can be very beneficial, depending on the illness.


For each topic, quickly discuss as many aspects as possible. For each aspect consider:

  • Is it a pro, or a con?
  • Is it objective or subjective?
  • Should it change in the future?
  1.  The traditional Japanese kimono;
  2.  Your business culture; and
  3.  Your food culture.