Are People Rational?

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Philosophy Now
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Are People Rational?

Post by Philosophy Now » Mon May 29, 2017 10:23 pm

John Ongley investigates what Bertrand Russell thought about human reason.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/120/Are_People_Rational

spike
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by spike » Mon May 29, 2017 10:31 pm

If Russell believed humans could be rational they could only be so after producing two world wars and a nuclear disaster.

Science Fan
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Science Fan » Tue May 30, 2017 7:57 pm

We are evolved social apes, and the ability to reason evolved in us as it has evolved in other species. Reason is broader than the application of logic --- and even single cell organisms can display reasoning behavior by drawing inferences from their environment, for example, to head towards "food." This is not logic, but it is reasoning. Our evolved minds display the structures they do because it helped us to survive and continues to do so. From this broader evolutionary standpoint, what is rational may be a far cry different from what is considered logical or rational purely from an abstract philosophical standpoint.

surreptitious57
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:51 pm

Can single cell organisms such as bacteria be capable of reasoning when they lack a brain?
Will not behaviour be therefore entirely instinctive in absence of any cognitive capability?

Impenitent
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Impenitent » Tue May 30, 2017 10:01 pm

a person can be rational

people are emotional and easy to manipulate...

-Imp

ps. there is no rational reason to believe the future will resemble the past...
Last edited by Impenitent on Tue May 30, 2017 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

surreptitious57
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by surreptitious57 » Tue May 30, 2017 10:12 pm

People are of course rational just not all of the time. The goal should not to be absolutely rational
but to be as rational as possible. For irrationality can never be entirely eradicated only partially so

Science Fan
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Science Fan » Wed May 31, 2017 3:50 pm

A single-cell organism does not need to have a brain in order to reason. Reason is basically drawing inferences, and single-cell organisms are perfectly capable of drawing inferences from their environment. It's just like a cell could have some light sensitivity without having actual eyes and a vision system. Since our ability to reason evolved, we should expect to see numerous examples of living species and organisms besides ourselves exhibiting the ability to reason, and we do have such evidence. It's only when people mistakenly assume that reasoning involves the use of logic that we ignore the reasoning that is exhibited by other living organisms, even at the cellular level.

tbieter
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by tbieter » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:36 pm

What about groupthink, the term coined by George Orwell, in his novel 1984 which refers to the human's act of holding two false and contradictory beliefs as true simultaneously?

Groupthink violates the law of contradiction, the "first law of thought", that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.


Humans are rational, more or less, most of the time.

jayjacobus
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by jayjacobus » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:35 pm

Unsound logic exists but it is still a product of cognition. People who are truly irrational are psychotic.

RogerFarinha
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by RogerFarinha » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:28 pm

Human "irrationality" is usually brought up when people act in cruel or inhuman ways, which inherently "makes no moral sense." But in order to understand our moral landscape fully, we must use a better paradigm-- an understanding of our species from the "spiritual" point of view. Of course, spirituality can mean different things to different people. But I only have to strip the concept down to its bare necessities. "Spirituality" is a person's general posture to the idea of God. God, in turn, can be defined as the "all-sufficient (and therefore self-sufficient) master of reality," the "I am Who Am," or the "I Am That I AM" definition of the Israelites.

Most human beings desire to be the "all sufficient master of reality," to draw all other human beings into themselves. This of course flies in the face of truth, that each human being is woefully small. This therefore is the heart of human moral irrationality. We simply seek to be the god of others; we have a god-complex!

This is the true source of all moral irrationality. I illustrate this truth quite intriguingly in an article I submitted to the Philosophy Now magazine titled "Populism and the 'Masters of Mankind.'" I'm looking for a publisher at this time...

Roger

Dubious
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Dubious » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:47 pm

RogerFarinha wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:28 pm
. "Spirituality" is a person's general posture to the idea of God. God, in turn, can be defined as the "all-sufficient (and therefore self-sufficient) master of reality," the "I am Who Am," or the "I Am That I AM" definition of the Israelites.
The "I Am That I AM", and its variants are indicative of an entity that cannot properly explain its own existence, that is, without knowledge of beginnings, only that it is what it is having been created by something just as it supposedly in turn created Adam. It's not unlike the phrase many have expressed about themselves, "I am what I am" as a default response to thoughts, actions, abilities and tendencies it cannot properly explain to itself since we also remain a mystery to ourselves. We denote God as the epitome of such quandaries when using that expression which is how we define god but not how god would define Itself. The "I am" clauses in expressions, I think therefore I am, I am what I am, I am that I am, simply denote the conditions acknowledging the unpenetrated infrastructures of Being and Existence.

On a purely spiritual level god functions as the embodiment of all mystery as the one who knows being all-powerful making all background mysteries passive contained in god only. Remove god and the mysteries remain becoming instead active, initiating a concomitant increase in spirituality while releasing the energy requirements in coming to terms with it.

RogerFarinha
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by RogerFarinha » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:23 am

I am who am means I am that which is self-existent, or I am reality itself. Think closely, and you will see. Trying to break it down further will only distract you like trying to guide someone into recognizing an optical illusion. If you don't see, then you won't see by any guidance outside of your own concentration.

Sorry to seem such a p**** but sometimes its necessary despite our good intentions.

Dubious
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Dubious » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:21 am

RogerFarinha wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:23 am
I am who am means I am that which is self-existent, or I am reality itself. Think closely, and you will see. Trying to break it down further will only distract you like trying to guide someone into recognizing an optical illusion. If you don't see, then you won't see by any guidance outside of your own concentration.

Sorry to seem such a p**** but sometimes its necessary despite our good intentions.
Some supposed entity proclaiming I am that I am wouldn't guide me anywhere but if others are by it's simple majesty, so be it. I know what is meant by it as well as you but what it merely defaults to are just one of many connotations of reality which say nothing and mean nothing except that reality is self-existent - wow, supreme insight! - though no one has noticed any god existing in that context except the ones we molded to incorporate the abstraction.

Anyways, thank you for your good intentions; conversation over.

RogerFarinha
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by RogerFarinha » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:08 pm

Dubious wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:21 am
Anyways, thank you for your good intentions; conversation over.
I did not mean my comment in a personally antagonistic way so I hope you didn't take it that way. But rather than suggesting nothing more than an esoteric trifle, I would say that a being who identifies as reality itself, as all-sufficient, when we are surely not so, so small as we are, is rather saying and implying the greatest amounts of things about Itself--greatness equivalent to all greatness which is possible. These are only logical conclusions from self-sufficiency equivalent to reality.

Anyway, I think bickering about God does not accomplish much. I merely brought up the definition of God in order to introduce my concept of humanity's "god-complex," that which underlies all of humanity's inhumanity--case in point the greatest historical example set by Nazi Germany via its Third Reich...

Ansiktsburk
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Re: Are People Rational?

Post by Ansiktsburk » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:28 pm

I would say that most people are somewhat rational, myself included. I cannot say what will bias by decisions as good as I will be able to in 10 years, looking back.

When I read the article I was thinking of mr Russell himself writing the Western History around 1944. He wasn't exactly keen on Nietzsche, which seems kind of not-so-rational. Of course we are biased about all kinds of stuff all the time.

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