[FoRK] Poll: I would rather my daughter married a Muslim than an Atheist

Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> on Sat Jun 23 08:51:55 PDT 2007

Excellent clarification.  It is absolutely reasonable (and rational) to 
factor in actions or methods that you may not be able to fully explain, 
but nevertheless have a desired effect on your psyche and are therefore 
used in a rational way.  (Walking in the woods, many other similar 
pursuits (I also bike, hike mountains, inline skate, kayak, ... when I 
can find the time), fly airplanes (now that is a rush), sex, etc.)

> So I think, in a large measure, that much of what we see as irrational
> is really that the person has not adequately examined or accounted for
> their meaning and value. Many people are religious not because they
> think it's *true*, but for aesthetic reasons. But they will deny that
> vehemently. Even though the way they live provides ample evidence that
> it is the case. I would say those people are being irrational.
Exactly.  Actually, if people just acknowledged that it was for 
aesthetic reasons, I would be happy for them.  Honest dishonesty/fiction 
(to yourself).  Choosing to be optimistic, for effect, when experience 
indicates negativism would be a similar choice.  Trekkies at a 
convention are obviously playing for such an aesthetic rush.  Anime, et 
al.  Instead, most religion participants constantly try to convince 
others, especially their children and other possible converts, that they 
really believe, thereby misleading and injuring others.  I'm sure this 
has happened many times from generation to generation.  Dishonest 
dishonesty/fiction, to yourself and others.  I think this is a tragedy.

sdw

Corinna Schultz wrote:
>>   There IS no purely rational way of living;  That's what I've been 
>> trying
>>   to explain to you.
>>
>>   Rationality is to a purpose.  Rationalization ALWAYS happens towards
>>   some purpose.
>>
>>   But what that purpose should be-- Nobody has an absolute answer 
>> towards.
>
> This is why the existentialists are suicidal...
>
> I more or less believe (at the moment) that purpose and meaning are
> pretty arbitrary, constructed by the individual.
>
> Example:
>
> For a variety of reasons under and not under my control, I choose to
> think that long walks in the woods are meaningful and contribute to my
> sanity. It is therefore rational to schedule my week such that I have
> the opportunity to walk in the woods, instead of, say, playing Magic
> with my kids. *They* may think it's irrational, since I enjoy playing
> Magic and have very little time during the week to be with them. But
> they don't understand the underlying meaning and value to me.
>
> My husband doesn't care for walking in the woods. For him to do what I
> do would be irrational because it would contribute to his insanity
> instead of sanity. So he plays computer games.  We could get into a
> big argument about it and decide that the other person is being
> irrational, and totally miss the underlying meaning that is being
> acted upon.
>
> Alternatively, say I arrange my schedule and so forth, but *say* and
> *think* it's because I'm making my family happy when I do so. Then
> it's irrational, because a good argument could be made that my family
> would be much happier if I didn't disappear for hours like that. By
> denying the underlying meaning, I have constructed an irrational
> argument that anyone can all me on.
>
> So I think, in a large measure, that much of what we see as irrational
> is really that the person has not adequately examined or accounted for
> their meaning and value. Many people are religious not because they
> think it's *true*, but for aesthetic reasons. But they will deny that
> vehemently. Even though the way they live provides ample evidence that
> it is the case. I would say those people are being irrational.
>
> -Corinna
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