Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

The Assumption of Rationality

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 2, 2009

I frequently find myself frustrated by people’s lack of rational thought when making arguments about various issues. In some cases it seems that people are not making an appeal to logic and rationality at all. At times emotional arguments are more appealing than rational ones. And that frustrates me. But then I realize that as a human being I am not immune to such thinking either. If I was given the choice of saving my child from death, versus saving two children (not mine) from death, I will choose my child. That is an emotional decision, not a rational one (although one can make a rational case for this choice, but at it’s core the emotions are what are driving the decision making process, if one was ever presented with this horrible choice).

I guess, the point is that in matters where we don’t have an emotional stake, we expect people to behave rationally. In matters such as religion and the paranormal, some people must have some sort of emotional investment on the line (although personally I can’t even see how that would be true for cryptozoology or UFOlogy). At least in some cases the rational option just does not make sense to them. I understand that. But I don’t have to accept it though! Just because someone may feel a big emotional attachement to religion, does not make the fact that religion is bunk any less true, doesn’t make fighting the lie wrong. I can understand how someone can be emotionally attached to alternative medicine too, especially in cases of fatal, uncurable diseases, but that does not mean I must stop fighting quackery solely because some people derive comfort out of it. On the same lines, just because some masochistic wifes may like to be beaten up by their husbands, that does not imply we should stop fighting domestic violence because of that.

Here at Skepfeeds, you will be held accountable for irational beliefs. If you make any testable claims, you will be called upon to provide evidence and good logic to support them. If you do, you’ll have my respect. If you don’t you’re in trouble. The Assumption of Rationality is alive and well.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: