Rationality is overrated

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Re: Rationality is overrated

finishedman wrote:As long as results can be achieved then all that’s useful. Often, though, the starting point is on shaky ground already and not conducive to a rational relationship with understanding. I think the realm of human experiences has more than a few things to contribute to the indescribable and in these cases rationality loses its instrumentality. One might be labeled as loony due to his particular ascertained premise based on his own feelings – < these, seeming special and worth mentioning, can be misconstrued in the rational arena. Probably these unique experiences are best kept to themselves lest they be cast into the chasm of senselessness. Yet I suppose there are those who have the gift to explain even that which doesn’t conform to the usual type or expected pattern of rational and logical scrutiny. They kinda talk around it with a sense of reasonable style. I guess it’s like art in a way.

I believe philosophy is an art. Reason and rationality are like a paint brush. Now, some might build philosophies like drawing stick men--which is just crap quality--and then there are others who will take better care and time with reason and rationality and give us masterpieces. Building philosophies is also like programming. When you're programming a computer, you really do have to use reason and rationality carefully, but the fact of the matter is, you can program a computer with whatever the hell you want. The same is true in philosophy--though you do have to take care to use reason and rationality carefully, at the end of the day you can create whatever philosophy you want--and download it onto anyone's brain that you want (so long as you get him to read your stuff).

Some of this will be useful, some not. I'm more pragmatic about the effects of philosophies than most it seems, but it can be extremely hard to predict what those effects might be even when you feel certain your philosophy is the right one.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote: … use rationality at your own discretion--know when it will work to your advantage, but also when it will not. Find it's place in your life, and never ever put it above yourself as the god that rules over your life and dominates everything you do and say.

Agreed, for if you must comply with all the so called rational rules all the time, you are destined to a life of emotional servitude. But our culture teaches that it’s naughty to disobey, that you shouldn’t do anything against the rules. The important thing is to determine for yourself which rules work, and are necessary to preserve order in our culture and which can be broken without harm to yourself or others. There is no percentage in rebelling just for the sake of rebelling, but there are great rewards in being your own person and living your life according to your own standards.

Virtually all new ideas which have resulted in change in our society were at one time scorned, and many illegal as well. All progress involves flying in the face of the ostensible rationality of old rules that no longer apply. People ridiculed the Edisons, Henry Fords, Einsteins, and Wright brothers until they were successful. You’ll meet with contempt too as you begin to resist meaningless policies.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Moreno wrote:
No, that's not what he is saying. Please actually read his OP and respond to that or find Another thread that you are interested enough in to read well. If you disagree with some of the Points he makes in the post, then explain what you Think is incorrect and why - and with quotes, since you seem to be responding to some other post.

And Volchok you were clearly wrong in your first post, since he makes statements that make very clear he is not ruling out rationality. Instead of admitting that you were wrong, you now try Another angle.

I can always count on you for condescension. It's not that you could be wrong, it's that others are trying a different angle. lol
There is no angle here, new or old. What I'm saying now is what I said before which is:

If rationality is overrated, then there are moments where we shouldn't use it (according to the op). Not using rationality because one thinks rationality is overrated is an instance of rational behavior. So in essence, one is saying that rationality is overrated after reaching that conclusion through rational thought and proposing a rational conduct as a solution.
Last edited by volchok on Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Some people have put different meanings on words than others.
Gib's "Rationality" needs to be set aside sometimes, where as Vol's "Rationality" means different.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

volchok wrote:If rationality is overrated, then there are moment where we shouldn't use it (according to the op). Not using rationality because one thinks rationality is overrated is an instance of rational behavior. So in essence, one is saying that rationality is overrated after reaching that conclusion through rational thought and proposing a rational conduct as a solution.

If that's the only way that one can put aside rationality, then I feel sorry for them.

There are millions of people out there who will listen to a TV ad telling them all sorts of rational reasons why they should buy this or that product yet those people will completely ignore those reasons without feeling compelled to come up with counter-reasons. They just don't listen because they don't feel like it.

Anyone who has to read my OP before they can do something like that is hopeless.
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Well if you one day discover that it is more rational to be irrational, then by all means, be irrational.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony
Else
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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote:Something like that, but I wouldn't say one should stop listening in a rational way, but that one should stop cooperating--make no mistake, the decision to put on one's rationality cap is a decision--it's a decision that one is going to cooperate as a listener with the speaker. Sometimes I do this with trolls--when I start to sense they are trolling, I don't exactly stop paying attention to the reasoning in what their saying, but I switch gears and stop intending to respond back in an equally rational way. I sometime commit logical fallacies (knowingly) but in subtle enough ways that the troll won't notice, or I'll purposely misinterpret him--sometime enough so such that I can get his juices riled.
I agree with this type of response. IOW I Think it is a good part of a repetoire of responses, but I would go even further. If we take rationality as trying to reason one's way to a conclusion or choice using logical steps, I Think this is overrated and that there are situations where it is better to go with one's intuition. Especially if one's intuition has been fairly effective in the relevent area. It can be anything from choosing a new employee - between various candidates, to what actions to take in certain situations, especially ones where there is not so much time. It can decisions surrounding rationality - like when to stop reasoning or when to stop acquiring more information. There is a vast range of decisions/conclusions where there are so many variables it is hubris to Think that rationality is the best approach. There is a reason we evolved to have emotions and intuitions and some things are much better dealt with by these faculties. Which dog to choose as a pet - from the litter. How to approach speaking to your family. How to open your novel. How to counsel and specific bulimic person.

One can try to approach these situations with all sorts of reasoning and logic, and rationality may be able to contribute but in the end the people who are good at making these kinds of decisions will be using some to a lot of intuition.

So to answer your question: it's when you bring together all parts of your mind--reason, intuition, emotion, selfish desires, lessons and teachings from those you trust, the advice of others you trust--that you know when to apply reason and when not. If you believe that you're just a crazy or stupid moron if you don't always think rationally, then you'll never know when not to use it, or when to use it for that matter.
It's neurotic and it's like tying one hand behind your back because the left hand is a bad hand to Always use rationality.

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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote: Some of this will be useful, some not. I'm more pragmatic about the effects of philosophies than most it seems, but it can be extremely hard to predict what those effects might be even when you feel certain your philosophy is the right one.

I like to say that the part rationality has is a functional purpose only and in no way can bring us to the experience of whatever reality is. Sometimes we rationalize ourselves away from something that is trying to break out of restrictions of rationality itself.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Moreno wrote:I agree with this type of response. IOW I Think it is a good part of a repetoire of responses, but I would go even further. If we take rationality as trying to reason one's way to a conclusion or choice using logical steps, I Think this is overrated and that there are situations where it is better to go with one's intuition.

I'll see your point and raise you one even better . I think sometimes, one ought to follow one's intuition even though that intuition may be wrong. Off the top of my head, I can think of a scenario in which I feel strongly, intuitively, that if I go out for a while, something wonderful will happen to me. Now I go out, spend a couple hours at the mall, nothing happens, and I come home. Maybe my unconscious just made that up--made me believe that I "knew" something wonderful was going to happen if I got out of the house--because the real reason I needed to get out of the house was because there was some kind of tension, some resentment or anger with a family member, but since I didn't want to admit this to myself, my unconscious gave me another (false) reason to get out of the house.

I think this happens sometimes and it is a testament to the fact that the unconscious knows what it's doing even if it seems irrational to us from the point of view of our conscious mind. The unconscious pulls our strings and it doesn't always "speak" to us in a straight forward, direct manner, but it knows what it's doing. This is not to say it can never be wrong, but that it deserve more credit than we often give it, and furthermore that we can sometimes do a lot of damage to ourselves by fighting against certain unconscious or intuitive impulses or "feelings" just because we can't see any rationality behind them.

finishedman wrote:I like to say that the part rationality has is a functional purpose only and in no way can bring us to the experience of whatever reality is. Sometimes we rationalize ourselves away from something that is trying to break out of restrictions of rationality itself.

I agree in an objective context. But as you probably know, I'm a subjectivist. To me, whatever the hell it is you rationalize, that is reality for you--the catch being that you can make up whatever reality you want for yourself.
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote:I agree in an objective context. But as you probably know, I'm a subjectivist. To me, whatever the hell it is you rationalize, that is reality for you--the catch being that you can make up whatever reality you want for yourself.

Sure thing. That’s just it. No one knows what is good in the context of a reality that relates to everything. Even the knowledge of the ‘reality’ that people use to try and maintain a sane and rational way of life is incomplete and is limited but all right for basic predictability and communication. Anyway, we only know what’s good for us. A person’s abilities are based on that. Nothing wrong with it. If it were not the case, there would be something wrong with you. But rationality in the context of all people brings right and wrong into operation. As long as we are caught up in opposites we will always be choosy and vacillate.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote:see your point and raise you one even better .
Thrilled!

I think sometimes, one ought to follow one's intuition even though that intuition may be wrong. Off the top of my head, I can think of a scenario in which I feel strongly, intuitively, that if I go out for a while, something wonderful will happen to me. Now I go out, spend a couple hours at the mall, nothing happens, and I come home. Maybe my unconscious just made that up--made me believe that I "knew" something wonderful was going to happen if I got out of the house--because the real reason I needed to get out of the house was because there was some kind of tension, some resentment or anger with a family member, but since I didn't want to admit this to myself, my unconscious gave me another (false) reason to get out of the house.
Wonderful example. There is also training the intuition. It is going to be wrong sometimes. So you listen once and it is wrong and then set up the most anal rational Schedule possible for the rest of your Life. Or, over time, as you respect this facility, it does work fairly effectively.

A kind of parallel example to yours is the choice of romantic partner. You may make what turns out to be the wrong choice for the rest of your Life, but it may very well have been the perfect choice to learn whatever you needed to learn then.

I think this happens sometimes and it is a testament to the fact that the unconscious knows what it's doing even if it seems irrational to us from the point of view of our conscious mind.
Yes, and I Think it will do whatever it has to do including make us sick to get our attention.
The unconscious pulls our strings and it doesn't always "speak" to us in a straight forward, direct manner, but it knows what it's doing. This is not to say it can never be wrong, but that it deserve more credit than we often give it, and furthermore that we can sometimes do a lot of damage to ourselves by fighting against certain unconscious or intuitive impulses or "feelings" just because we can't see any rationality behind them.
All great Points.

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Here's an excellent 13 minute interview with Dan Sperber called The Enigma of Reason. He argues in it that finding the truth is that last thing reason evolved for.

http://www.shahspace.com/enigma_of_reason.mp3
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A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Rationality is overrated

Rationality is not overrated. It is more underrated than overrated. Perhaps it was overrated in the past (e.g. during the Age of Enlightenment), but currently it is not overrated. In times where everything has to be femine, feministic, consumeristic, "politically correct", emotional ... and so on and so forth ..., there is no or at least not enough room for rationality.
Last edited by Kathrina on Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rationality is overrated

So you gonna try to be rational with these guys? Good luck!
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Who are "these guys"?

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Kathrina wrote:Who are "these guys"?

The feministas, consumerists, PC-guys, emotional people... all those things you mentioned.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

if rationality is over-rated, how come you tried so hard to bind your entire thesis of its over-rated nature with more rationality?
Are we gonna fight or are you planning on boring me to death?

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Because overrated doesn't mean completely useless.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote:Because overrated doesn't mean completely useless.

So, then, it's under-rated at the same time as being over-rated?
Are we gonna fight or are you planning on boring me to death?

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Some Guy in History wrote:So, then, it's under-rated at the same time as being over-rated?

No, it's very simple. Here's a spectrum:

<-- Completely useless .......... overrated .......... just right .......... underrated -->

My original claim was that rationality is over here:

<-- Completely useless .......... overrated .......... just right .......... underrated -->
...........................................^^

Then you said: so it's over here?

<-- Completely useless .......... overrated .......... just right .......... underrated -->
.............^^

Then I said: Uh... no, it's over here:

<-- Completely useless .......... overrated .......... just right .......... underrated -->
...........................................^^

Then you said: so it's over here?

<-- Completely useless .......... overrated .......... just right .......... underrated -->
...........................................................................................^^

Then I said:

My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

gib wrote:So you gonna try to be rational with these guys? Good luck!

gib wrote:
Kathrina wrote:Who are "these guys"?

The feministas, consumerists, PC-guys, emotional people... all those things you mentioned.

Mostly, I am analyzing them, and analyzing has to do with rationality.

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Kathrina wrote:Mostly, I am analyzing them, and analyzing has to do with rationality.

Oh yeah, definitely use rationality there (but also, make room for instinct, intuition).

What I'm talking about in this thread is strategies for engaging with people when they have in mind to exploit your commitment to rationality. <-- In those cases, I'm arguing, it may be to your advantage to use different approaches to that of rationalizing (for example, trolling... have you ever tried to be rational with a troll?... have you ever tried to troll a troll?... which works better?)

Think for example of some of the junk mail you get sometimes: MAKE $10,000 IN A WEEK!!! <-- Don't you just hit delete on those? But is that the most rational thing to do? I mean, rationally, there will be a non-zero chance that they're right, that you could make$10,000 in a week. Isn't the most rational course of action to at least investigate the offer? See if it's real or not?
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

James S Saint wrote:Well if you one day discover that it is more rational to be irrational, then by all means, be irrational.

Except that's impossible since they are mutually exclusive. Unless you redefine the concept of irrationality such that it can be made compatible with rationality.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

In those cases, I'm arguing, it may be to your advantage to use different approaches to that of rationalizing (for example, trolling... have you ever tried to be rational with a troll?... have you ever tried to troll a troll?... which works better?)

These are two entirely different goals. When you troll, the goal is merely to frustrate the person. When you are engaging with them intellectually, you are trying to make them understand what you're saying. The former is often a degeneration of the latter . . . when your efforts to communicate are frustrated, it is easier to divert your attention to trolling, preserving the feeling that you are succeeding in your efforts, no matter how wrong that is, than to pull back and accept reality, which is to say, failure.
I got a philosophy degree, I'm not upset that I can't find work as a philosopher. It was my decision, and I knew that it wasn't a money making degree, so I get money elsewhere.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Magnus Anderson wrote:These are two entirely different goals.

Yes, and they require two entirely different approaches. I'm mainly thinking about those who will attempt to use rationality for every single encounter with another person. I'm saying that this isn't always the best strategy. You're right that if you switch from being rational to something like trolling, that might involved switching your goals as well, and that means you've failed in your original goal, but I'm also suggesting that we ought to learn to recognize when rationality will work and when it won't from the outset. If you choose the right approach from the outset, you minimize the chance of failure period.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
- unknown source

Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sped along, but he's just as dead as if he were wrong.
- Boston Transcript

gib
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