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The Nature of Reason

Sharp6690 October 17, 2011 User blog:Sharp6690

SocratesThe Nature of Reason

 I have found many issues with the concept of reasoning with anyone else, the main hinderance being the nature from which an individual's reason springs from.  Throughout historical western civilization "reason" appears to be an entity that springs forth from a Christian, Greek, and Roman worldview where rules and requirements for living in the west take Biblical roots.  These rules have included that one shall not kill, one shall not steal, one shall not commit adultury, with laws that back and interperet these common laws.  Current western civilization function still on these principles but have taken a secular, scientific, and research based approach when reasoning in many issues confronted in daily life.  Taking the concept of abortion into consideration from an archaic standpoint, at the immediete discovery of pregnancy, a child is considered to be a human that can be murdered, breaking a rule of western civilization.  Taking the same issue of pregnancy into a contemporary context a child is not simply a living human, it goes through stages of cell replication until a scientific medically determined baseline is set where these cells are considered to be a living human, where before this threshold of humanity is crossed, one can safely destroy the cells without recieving punishment of murder.  Both the archaic and contemporary examples have gone through multiple stages of reasoning to come to their conclusions, though the conclusions are entirely different from one another.
  Taking this example in to consideration, one very easily comes to the conclusion that both sides exercised rationality though the nature of this rationality is entirely arbitrary.  Coming to the conclusion that rationality is arbitrary forces one to ask the painful question, does rationality exists at all?  For if two individuals with two seperate sources of their rationalization skills delve into this topic, each individual would deem the final conclusions of the other irrational.  And if rationality of these two individuals constantly clash, is there any true way to find a "rational" conclusion that would be deemed appropriate to both individuals?  And if both individuals cannot come to a conclusion that both would deem rational, can these two individuals coexist amongst one another in a functional two person community?  
  An answer to the two most recent questions must be "no".  Taking the story of two lighthouse keepers are to watch a lighthouse that will be isolated from the rest of their community from fall until the end of winter due to tides blocking access to the lighthouse.  The men enter the lighthouse together and are not seen until the end of the winter, a townsman goes in and only sees one of the men sitting in a room by himself, he inquires to the keeper, "Where is the other keeper?"  To which the keeper responds, "I do not know, after the first week I could not stand the man and we have lived in seperate parts of the lighthouse until this moment."  Man is a social animal exceling in skills of community building, while at the same time man is terribly equiped to deal with those who do not share their own views.  Therefore individuals with opposite rationals can coexist, though they cannot form a community.
  I now return to my initial question of, does rationality exist at all, and add a question what is the nature of creating rationality?  Addressing the first question, rationality must exist as one would not be able to solve problems without some form of rationality.  As to what is the nature of rationality, one must simply choose an arbitrary concept such as science, christianity, political ideas, or the attitude of their favorite reality telivision star to base all further reasoning off of.  By publically displaying their chosen form of rationality, the individual will find others of a like rational and form bonds, friendships, and eventually communities with a like-minded rational to solve problems.  
 One final and glaring question raising all reasoning presented so far in this writing is that how is one to choose their baseline rationality?  Is there a universal form of reasoning that transcends all arbitrary rationals giving way to this universal rationality?  The only answer to this question must be yes, for if it were not present one would not be able to choose an arbitrary rationality, which would lead to the inability to solve any problems, which would make the ability to think non-existant.

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