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If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
#11
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?


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#12
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
An instrumental rationality would still have aspects of practicality, moral oughts and such wouldn't it? I guess the OP is dependent on what "better" means and what is in the scope of rationality/irrationalness.

If you're asking whether a 100% logical and unemotional populous would be an improvement to society as a whole, sure in some ways, but I would guess that in some important ways it would not "improve life" for much in society, IMO.
"There ought to be a term that would designate those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus, since the word 'Christian' has been largely divorced from those teachings, and so polluted by fundamentalists that it has come to connote their polar opposite: intolerance, vindictive hatred, and bigotry." -- Philip Stater, Huffington Post

always working on cleaning my windows- me regarding Johari
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#13
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
(July 10, 2021 at 11:07 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote: What role does irrationality play in improving our lives?

I would say that irrationality is the bedrock of creativity and hypothesis generation. I don't mean hypotheses in the experimental deductive sense, but in the theoretical conjecture sense. New ideas are born by intentionally or unintentionally walking away from the rules of the game, and accepting the likelihood of being wrong.
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#14
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
(July 11, 2021 at 5:15 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Imma go with ‘rational hellscape’. 

-It isn’t rational to care for the disabled, for example.

-Rearing a child with severe birth defects isn’t rational.

-Most of the things we do for fun aren’t rational.

-It isn’t rational for people to volunteer to aid disaster victims.

The list is endless. Humans are not primarily rational beings - we are rationalizing beings. Becoming 100% rational would deprive us of our humanity.

Boru
I loved hearing people's thoughts/perspectives on this. I tend to agree with Boru here. But I'm not entirely comfortable with Boru's position... I feel like he (and I) --or anybody-- hasn't pinned down exactly what it means to "be rational." That's an issue worth exploring/discussing. Nudger and others also honed in on this ambiguity.

Here is an off the cuff definition of "to be rational": To do or decide things for good reasons. Maybe as opposed to impulse or emotional urge. If this is our definition, then caring for the disabled or rearing a child with severe birth defects may qualify as rational. After all, in these instances, you are doing things for "good reasons" rather than an urge or emotional disposition. Nobody cares for the disabled "on a whim," after all. 

Not that that counts as a counterargument to what Boru said... but I think our difference in perspective shows that we define "being rational" somewhat differently. I do get his point that emotional urges may be the primary motivator (a mother's compassion) involved in caring for a deformed child. But there are also competing impulses that might give us an emotional urge to "put the thing out of its misery." Rationality can be a mediating factor between these impulses that allows us to weigh one urge against the other and come to the best decision.

I 100% agree with Boru that things like "fun" ... "goofing off"... "joking around"... these things seriously enhance our lives. And yet, we don't do these "for a reason"-- and thus, by my definition, they don't count as rational. But they are indispensable. So, in the final analysis, I think 100% rational society would be a hellscape.
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#15
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
The question being reformed to something like -if people were 100% unfun, would that be better or worse.

Sounds pretty bad.

-but then again, it only sounds pretty bad to me, a person with some fun. They might not notice, being fun-free. Hellscape is probably too strong. More like boring?
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#16
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
(July 13, 2021 at 6:09 pm)The Grand Nudger Wrote: The question being reformed to something like -if people were 100% unfun, would that be better or worse.

Sounds pretty bad.

-but then again, it only sounds pretty bad to me, a person with some fun.  They might not notice, being fun-free.  Hellscape is probably too strong.  More like boring?

Hellscape may be a bit too strong. But not entirely off the mark.

One thing that comes to mind in my considering of this issue is Plato's Republic. I think our society should be more ruled by reason and logic (as Plato thinks). We could fix climate change tomorrow if that were the case. But at the same time, Plato's vision sounds a little bit like a Hellscape. I have huge issues with his ideal society. And the sticking points are where he tries too hard to circumvent (or overcome) the human emotions and impulses and put them under the rule of reason.

Not that Plato wants to destroy emotion or desire. He sees them as necessary (he even writes extensively of their beauty). His project is to put them in their proper place (where they are happiest). But it's a little problematic (and hellscapey) to try to actually do this if you ask me.

Also unfun.
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#17
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
(July 13, 2021 at 5:48 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(July 11, 2021 at 5:15 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: Imma go with ‘rational hellscape’. 

-It isn’t rational to care for the disabled, for example.

-Rearing a child with severe birth defects isn’t rational.

-Most of the things we do for fun aren’t rational.

-It isn’t rational for people to volunteer to aid disaster victims.

The list is endless. Humans are not primarily rational beings - we are rationalizing beings. Becoming 100% rational would deprive us of our humanity.

Boru
I loved hearing people's thoughts/perspectives on this. I tend to agree with Boru here. But I'm not entirely comfortable with Boru's position... I feel like he (and I) --or anybody-- hasn't pinned down exactly what it means to "be rational." That's an issue worth exploring/discussing. Nudger and others also honed in on this ambiguity.

Here is an off the cuff definition of "to be rational": To do or decide things for good reasons. Maybe as opposed to impulse or emotional urge. If this is our definition, then caring for the disabled or rearing a child with severe birth defects may qualify as rational. After all, in these instances, you are doing things for "good reasons" rather than an urge or emotional disposition. Nobody cares for the disabled "on a whim," after all. 

Not that that counts as a counterargument to what Boru said... but I think our difference in perspective shows that we define "being rational" somewhat differently. I do get his point that emotional urges may be the primary motivator (a mother's compassion) involved in caring for a deformed child. But there are also competing impulses that might give us an emotional urge to "put the thing out of its misery." Rationality can be a mediating factor between these impulses that allows us to weigh one urge against the other and come to the best decision.

I 100% agree with Boru that things like "fun" ... "goofing off"... "joking around"... these things seriously enhance our lives. And yet, we don't do these "for a reason"-- and thus, by my definition, they don't count as rational. But they are indispensable. So, in the final analysis, I think 100% rational society would be a hellscape.

Agreeing with me is 100% rational. Wink

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#18
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
We could use addressing climate change as a specific example. We could zero out batshit non reasons for opposing this or that solution….and that’s probably what we’re thinking about when we say that if we were more rational we could solve the problem tomorrow.

However, there would still be entirely logical reasons to oppose or withhold support for any of those solutions. Those are the harder ones, the ones where we need to do a lot of basic work, still, to overcome hesitancy.

Insomuch, I think, as more or full reason might lead to a hellscape it won’t be on account of that being an essential attribute of rationality or full rationality- but that we’d be even better at pursuing our goals than we currently are. The goals might still be shit.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#19
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
(July 12, 2021 at 1:24 pm)Angrboda Wrote: Lack of emotion in decision-making tends to lead toward behavior that appears distinctly irrational.

There is a little bit of an ancient debate on the matter that comes to mind. IDK. You may find it pointless. Or you may find it interesting.

The Platonists held that reason is distinct from our emotions and our desires.

But the Stoics thought that there was a little bit of reason at work in every one of our impulses. -- ie. there is a little bit of reason at work in our hunger or anger etc. However, in the end, the Stoic concluded that we should go with what is most reasonable-- despite what our emotions or impulses command. That means maybe eschew our impulses when logic dictates, but also embrace them (or let them win) when logic dictates.

IDK. I like the Stoics' point. And I think there is a kind of reasonableness in emotion that may even be more reasonable than pure logic. If that makes sense.

(July 13, 2021 at 7:11 pm)The Grand Nudger Wrote: We could use addressing climate change as a specific example.  We could zero out batshit non reasons for opposing this or that solution….and that’s probably what we’re thinking about when we say that if we were more rational we could solve the problem tomorrow.

However, there would still be entirely logical reasons to oppose or withhold support for any of those solutions.  Those are the harder ones, the ones where we need to do a lot of basic work, still, to overcome hesitancy.

Insomuch, I think, as more or full reason might lead to a hellscape it won’t be on account of that being an essential attribute of rationality or full rationality- but that we’d be even better at pursuing our goals than we currently are.  The goals might still be shit.

Well, look at it this way. In a capitalistic society, desire is what rules. We all know from economics 101 that economics is based on what people desire vs what they can obtain.

A "desire vs. reality scheme"... who will win? Well, reality always wins... but in capitalist consumerism, desire influences reality. It makes its voice heard. The desirous consumer is the almighty dictator. And desirous consumers want cokes and big macs. Not intact ice caps.

Plato thinks desire is bad to have in a rulership position (as capitalism has it). Better would be some ruling power that can say "We will reduce carbon emissions. Period. If people don't like it. Fuck them. The most rational course of action is to not allow our polar ice caps to melt. So that's not going to happen."

That's all fine and good. I think most of us would applaud if capitalism were sanctioned in such a bold way, at least concerning climate change. But, in the end, an entirely reasonable society (while its ice caps be unmelted) would be less fun, and less meaningful overall than a society that integrated and celebrated its impulses alongside its reasonable nature.
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#20
RE: If people were 100% rational, would the world be better?
I’d say that the above is an argument against batshit non reasons- but what I’m talking about lies more in some portion of the people we’ve decided to say “well fuck them” about. Environmental repair isn’t a free ride. The problem really has nothing to do with people wanting burgers. We can have all the corn syrup and beef patties we want in a warmer world, or a repaired world.

For example if non batshit objections to respond to the reality of climate change and a shrinking desire for tobacco products, this region is trying to get producers to try alternative crops and methods. That’s all well and good, but if we were 100% effective in our aim here, from your perspective and from a distance that’s a rational good.

It is not a rational good for all the people And industries and economies that depend on that tobacco. We have a variety of plans and tons of financial and operational assistance for how the individual producer can make the transition - but no plan or assistance for those people. In s certain light, we’re simply imagining a future world without them in it. Fuck them….and who in their right and logical mind is going to do the unfun work of repairing a world that has no place in it for them?

What’s worked for us is to help producers and communities find some personal attachment and desire for environmental change… and then and only then, apply the tool of logic to come up with a process or system to seek that goal. Daying that we should reduce carbon, period, is less than wrong from the overall perspective..and, frankly….it doesn’t wiork.

People want to know how we can improve their lives- not which sword we’re demanding they fall on. No one is interested in saving earth for earths sake….and why would they be.. it’s just a rock.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply



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