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Rational Human Beings - An Oxymoron?

Great post on Michael Brandon's blog about what it means to be 'rational'.

Freedom Through Truth: Rational Human Beings - An Oxymoron?


  1. Hi Michael,

    An interesting and thoughtful reflection on what it means to be "rational".

    I often suspect that "rational" is more of an aspirational goal for our species than something we actually posses.

    To clarify - when I used the word "rational", I used it in the following 2 senses:

    a) logically consistent and internally coherent
    b) grounded in reality

    I think some religous folks can be logically consistent and internally coherent. If one accepts their many premises about reality, then one may rightly conclude that much of what they say and do is quite rational in the sense of (a).

    As you might suspect, I part company with many religious folks when their premises are not grounded in reality. While their premises MIGHT be true, these remises are often inconsistent with reality and therefore not rational in the sense of (b).

    Having said this - I readily acknowledge that some religous views are neither logically consistent, internally conherent, nor are they grounded in reality. I think we have all met folks who would fit that description.

    I apologize if my use of the word "rational" was confusing or sounded condescending. I intended neither.


  2. Very RATIONAL response Martin.

    I just wrote a cogent, thought provoking response, which disappeared into the ether. So much for cogent and thought provoking.

    Your use of RATIONAL was neither confusing or condescending, IMHO.

    So, whose REALITY do we believe, since in truth Perception is Reality, or as Anthony Demelo wrote a number of years ago, "We see the world not as it is, but as we are?"

    There are lunatics all over, meaning people who do not grasp reality as well as I do (note to self. Try to be humble). For me as a Catholic Christian, the lunatics include, Protestants, agnostics and atheists (tongue in cheek firmly); in short, those people who disagree with me.

    For you, the lunatic fringe encompasses a different subset, maybe some overlap. Maybe not.

    Reality is elusive, methinks.

    God Bless You

  3. Hi Michael,

    You write: "So, whose REALITY do we believe, since in truth Perception is Reality, or as Anthony Demelo wrote a number of years ago, "We see the world not as it is, but as we are?"

    Frankly - if there is no common ground between YOUR REALITY and MY REALITY then we are not talking about objective reality, but rather, subjective reality.

    I contend that both types of reality exist: subjective and objective.

    I also contend that most non-trivial religious propositions have no basis in objective reality.

    Here are some typical religious propositions which are not grounded in objective reality (these are not critiques of any particular demonination - but all of these propositions have no basis in objective reality):

    a) God is loving, wishes to have a personal and real relationship with every human being, and god is omniscient and omnipotent.
    b) The bible is the inerrant word of a personal, loving, omniscient and omnipotent god.
    c) God blesses the elect with health, wealth, and good fortune.

    Objective reality contradicts each of the above propositions.

    What is elusive is not "objective reality" but rather the reason why many religious folks believe these propositions to be true.



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