Sunday, May 19, 2013

[PL 211] Too cool for proof?

In Jack Reacher, one character says about the protagonist, Jack Reacher, that "He doesn't care about proof. He only cares about what's right."

Does that make sense? Can one "care about what's right" without caring about "proof"? Without "proof," how would one know what's right?


  1. Yes, this statement made by a character in the movie "Jack Reacher" makes sense to me. Often times we as humans follow our intuition and personal morals. Due to this, we can most definitely take action when we think something is the "right thing to do" simply because we think its morally correct. Since our decision is based solely upon morals, proof is not always important at that point in time (even though it should be). Without proof there is no real reason to state what is right from what is wrong, but using morals and intuition we can come close.

  2. In order to care about what is "right," one must be able to know that it is in fact "right." This then leads to the thought of what makes something "right" or "wrong." Without any proof, this could make everything seem like it is an opinion. Many times "proof" will not be labeled as proof, but that does not mean that it is any less proof. I believe proof will always be needed in order to figure out what is right.

    Arnequa Campbell

  3. I find the trailer troubling, so will attempt to unpack some of the statements made for my own clarity. This Jack Reacher character doesn’t care about proof, nor does he care about the law but, he is concerned with what is right. Now this seems almost illogical to me. We all have differing opinions on what is right but for the most part we all have a sort of value system. This can rely on truth or faith or other factors. Yet, we don’t go around blindly accepting something as true or as “right” without doing our own evaluation and, finding evidence to support this. For example though this might sound trivial but, how would you know that eating fast food on a daily basis may not be right (or healthy). Well, studies are done on its adverse effects, how it can lead to obesity, and heart conditions (among other complications). It’s impossible to care about what is right without caring about proof because how would you know whether or not what you’re doing is right? We need proof; this trailer is just trying to sell the movie by adding drama.

  4. I do not think this statement makes sense. For something to be right there needs to some truth that can be justified. If a person does not care about proof they can’t validate their actions. Validation is what allows something to be right. Proof and “what’s right” are mutually exclusive concepts. One can’t stand without the other. Proof and reason are the basis for something to be right. In a given situation, what is considered to be proof can vary among people. However, there is still the relationship between proof and good in each case. Every wrong deed goes against an essential good because they go against the reasons that make something good. Without those reasons we would not be able to differentiate right from wrong.

    Mehrun Uddin

  5. No this does not make sense to me! In my opinion someone who has this way of thinking is foolish. You cannot possibly know what is right by not having proof, that is how we know things are right from having the proof. To me this character is a control freak who thinks he is so bad the bone and thinks he knows more than anyone else. He should look into proof because he might find out the opposite of what he thinks and then it would be all for nothing. On another note I will be watching this movie shortly- have to see it now.

  6. I think this makes sense. I believe we have a gut feeling of what is right and what is wrong in some circumstances. Sometimes that feeling cannot be explained or backed up by proof but you just know what is right with your own morals and whether or not you are close to those being wronged or accused of wrong doing. When that initial gut feeling is felt there is no way to shake that even if there is proof going against that gut feeling. However I believe people can care about what is right without having proof and that it is okay to question if the proof given does not coincide with the gut feeling because the gut feeling does not derive from thin air it is shaped by the individual's understanding on the matter, their morals, values, and relationship to the person or situation. This personal intuitive feeling is something that is hard to explain but it is a strong feeling that can cause people to not care about the proof or anything else besides what is right and making it so.

  7. Despite never seeing the full movie of the trailer presented, it seems logical to assume that the protagonist is indeed “doing what’s right” in a very basic sense. This assertion is based on the very notion of a protagonist, but what is more important to consider is the idea of not needing “proof” to ascertain what is “right”. Though in this particular trailer it seems that finding proof may be a difficult undertaking, in a philosophical sense it is truly the key to quest for a veritable moral solution.
    Being “right” without proof is in a sense rather silly because it is tautological in the most basic, and most easily evident way. We as humans are beings that rely on our abilities to prove something based on empirical, real evidence. Thus when someone says that they do not need proof, and know something is “right”, it should be taken with a grain of salt.
    There are certain cases however, where proof of what is right may not be fully available. Critics of global warming for example say that there is no distinct proof of such a phenomena, while critics of evolutionary theory tend to rely on the fact that evolution is theoretical. However, gravity is also a theory but we know with nearly precise certainty that it is indeed something affecting our lives endlessly.
    Finally, I want to make the point that there are some things that are true but cannot be proven. A prime example is color vision, a phenomenon that has only been present for a limited amount of time among the organisms that have inhabited this earth. Say that humans were transported back to a time where no one could see colors, would color be something that is “not right”? The point is that there seem to be things that are beyond the realm of our understanding, and beyond the realm of proof. This of course, does not take away from the power, and necessity of proof in philosophy.


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