I came across an interesting Article which states that we Rationalize and not Reason.
To me it seems correct.
When we choose anything, we, if we reflect, rationalize.
We are driven by instincts, Feelings and Emotions.Any choice depends on and is driven by these.
As we have mores and Social respectability to consider, we rationalize, not Reason while making a choice.
We rationalize our decisions, consciously later, more to ourselves .
The Organism chooses what is Right for its survival.
We are driven to decisions, that’s all.
All of us have Dispositions and these are not determined by us.
The Dispositions determine our Attitude, Attitudes our Desires and Desire actions.
This has ben brought forth in the Bhagavad Gita.
All of us are born with Three Gunas(loosely translated,Dispositions)
These interact with each other constantly and we behave.
There is no such thing as inactivity for all of us ar driven by thees Gunas.
So any decision that we take is purely instinctive and we justify it later(an euphemism for Rationalising)
This we call as Reason,
Theer is interesting sequel for this in The Bhagavad Gita.
He later says that is always better to do one’s Duty;yet the results his actions are not in his hands alone;even if he does not do it, things will happen;attachment breeds anger when thwarted; anger breeds indecision, indecision leads to the Destruction of the Intellect and destruction of the Intellect ensures the Destruction of Man;then adds it is ideal that one Realises Reality forgoing every action , nay, the resolve to get the results;the best way is through Knowledge,then Surrender to God.
Confusing, isn’t it?
Arjuna tells Krishna that since all actions be-get results because of which one is born and has to go through the pain in Life, he will not perform any action;hence no results and no birth and no pain.
Krishna tells him that no such activity is possible as we are driven by Gunas and He, the Supreme Lord that He is, after having been born. is not beyond action.
And adds a punch line ‘Is there anything in the world that is not Mine and is there any thing I need?
Still I perform action, because I can not help it’ Bhagavad Gita -Chapter 2)
Jonathan Haidt’s new book makes a well-reasoned case against reason. It persuades that the power of persuasion is overrated. It opens minds to the near universality of closed minds. Does Haidt’s convincing theory affirm or rebut his argument? My brain hurts.
“Western philosophy has been worshipping reason and distrusting the passions for thousands of years,” the University of Virginia psychology professor writes. “There’s a direct line running from Plato through Immanuel Kant to Lawrence Kohlberg. I’ll refer to this worshipful attitude throughout this book as the rationalist delusion. I call it a delusion because when a group of people make something sacred, the members of the cult lose the ability to think clearly about it.”
Intellectuals confuse a more ideal state of affairs for the way things actually are—reason is more often than not rationalization, a justification for ideas developed not in the brain but in the gut. Haidt’s antecedent here is David Hume. Reason plays servant to man’s whims. Man forces the facts to fit his beliefs rather than the reverse. It’s no wonder that ideas that work marvelously in our minds fail miserably when applied to the world outside our heads. How a theory makes us feel, not whether it works, is the most important prerequisite for our acceptance of it.
Were athletes to seek rule by the strong or models rule by the beautiful, intellectuals would clearly see naked self-interest masked as reason. But Haidt finds other smart people to be no more reasonable in their use of reason. Intellectuals seek rule by the intelligent. The Righteous Mind explains that the rationalist delusion is
the idea that reasoning is our most noble attribute, one that makes us like the gods (for Plato) or that brings us beyond the ‘delusion’ of believing in gods (for the New Atheists). The rationalist delusion is not just a claim about human nature. It’s also a claim that the rational caste (philosophers or scientists) should have more power, and it usually comes along with a utopian program for raising more rational children.
Intelligence is a virtue. So are prudence, integrity, humility, and courage. People who possess the first trait, but lack the latter ones, tend to downplay the importance of their weaknesses and inflate the importance of their strength. The limitations of intelligence are never as glaring as when highbrains advocate intelligence as the panacea for everything. But it is not the intelligence of Haidt’s fellow liberals that he indicts. It’s their morals.
Haidt helped devise a questionnaire that gauged moral views by eliciting test-taker responses to statements in five categories: care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation. Haidt likens these moral groupings to the five taste receptors of the tongue (sweet, sour, bitter, savory, salty). It turns out that liberal receptors failed to engage on questions of loyalty, authority, and sanctity. Conservatives, on the other hand, reacted to all five moral categories more or less equally. Haidt’s conclusion is that his fellow liberals are morally tone deaf. “Republicans understand moral psychology,” Haidt concedes. “Democrats don’t.”
It gets worse for liberals. Haidt and colleagues asked their subjects to answer their questionnaire as if they were liberals, as if they were conservatives, and as themselves. Liberals don’t know their political adversaries nearly as well as the right knows them. “The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who described themselves as ‘very liberal.’ The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives.” Liberals see caricatures when they see conservatives.