Rationality is overrated

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby Arminius » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 pm

gib wrote:
Arminius wrote:Please, give an example, Gib.

Playing with your kids.
Alf wrote:You are playing with Arminius' kids?
Arminius wrote:
gib wrote:Playing with your kids.

You are not rational when you are playing with your kids?

:lol:
Alf wrote:He is playing without using his brain - with your kids, Arminius. :shock:

:shock:

Quick! Take your sister and come home!

:lol:
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby phyllo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:30 pm

In this thread, I'm sticking to a particular definition of rationality: the application of well-formed logic and reasoning in one's thoughts. The move from this to that of: "animals seem to do whatever's conducive to survival or to satisfy their urges" is cheating in my books. It's a switch from one definition to another so as to obfuscate examples of how irrationality (or should I say non-rationality?) can sometimes be effective in surviving or getting what you want.
Since we don't have access to animal thinking, we can't actually say if they are using "well-formed logic and reasoning" or not. We don't know what they think. The situation is further complicated by the fact that "animals" is a word that covers many species with a variety of brains.

But you did bring up animals and you did say that they don't use rational thinking. Right?

It seems that you were trying to strengthen your argument by bringing animals into it.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby surreptitious75 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:07 am

We may not know precisely how animals think but we can deduct that to a certain degree from how they behave
Granted it is not an exact science but there must be some correlation between how they think and what they do
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby gib » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:41 am

phyllo wrote:
In this thread, I'm sticking to a particular definition of rationality: the application of well-formed logic and reasoning in one's thoughts. The move from this to that of: "animals seem to do whatever's conducive to survival or to satisfy their urges" is cheating in my books. It's a switch from one definition to another so as to obfuscate examples of how irrationality (or should I say non-rationality?) can sometimes be effective in surviving or getting what you want.
Since we don't have access to animal thinking, we can't actually say if they are using "well-formed logic and reasoning" or not. We don't know what they think. The situation is further complicated by the fact that "animals" is a word that covers many species with a variety of brains.

But you did bring up animals and you did say that they don't use rational thinking. Right?

It seems that you were trying to strengthen your argument by bringing animals into it.


Yes, I was. And you're right, I did say 99% of the animal kingdom use non-rational methods to surviving 99% of the time. No I can't prove this but I'm highly certain of it. I don't think every time an chimp scratches his ass, he has to go through a rational thought process in order to justify the action. I think most animals just do what they feel like doing without thinking.

I also brought up the point that we can all easily verify that rational thinking is not always the guiding principle that determines every one of our actions just by doing a little introspection. So even though we can't scan the mind of an animal in order to verify the presence of rational think, we can do something equivalent with ourselves.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
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The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby surreptitious75 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:40 pm

Gib wrote:
surreptitious75 wrote:
It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational

Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention

So much wisdom packed into such simple words If you are reading this surreptitious mind if I quote you

I am alas incapable of wisdom but thanks for the compliment and yes you can quote me if you want to
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:20 pm

Yes, I was. And you're right, I did say 99% of the animal kingdom use non-rational methods to surviving 99% of the time. No I can't prove this but I'm highly certain of it. I don't think every time an chimp scratches his ass, he has to go through a rational thought process in order to justify the action. I think most animals just do what they feel like doing without thinking.
I guess that shows that you don't need to use a formal process to decide to scratch your ass. But that does not mean that it's irrational, emotional or even instinctive. It seems that the formal process may have been internalized and transferred to the unconscious. That seems to happen when you become skilled at something. Take driving a car ... initially you spend conscious effort to analyze where you should be on the road, how far way from objects, how fast you can go, etc. Once you have built up some experience, these things fade into the background of your mind. You're obviously still making those decisions but driving stops requiring a conscious effort and becomes more or less automatic.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby Arminius » Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:57 pm

gib wrote:Image

That's me after gashing my head open on the side of a swimming pool.

Image

What a little Photoshop magic won't do.

Did you not say that you made this little magic for your kids?
And if you made it for your kids: Did you use rationality when you were making it?
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby gib » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:19 pm

phyllo wrote:I guess that shows that you don't need to use a formal process to decide to scratch your ass. But that does not mean that it's irrational, emotional or even instinctive. It seems that the formal process may have been internalized and transferred to the unconscious. That seems to happen when you become skilled at something. Take driving a car ... initially you spend conscious effort to analyze where you should be on the road, how far way from objects, how fast you can go, etc. Once you have built up some experience, these things fade into the background of your mind. You're obviously still making those decisions but driving stops requiring a conscious effort and becomes more or less automatic.


Well, if you're going to bring in the unconscious, you can say anything's going therein. I have no way of proving a rational thought process doesn't go on therein, you have no way of proving it does. All I can say is that if an ape has to carry out a rational thought process unconsciously in order to justify scratching his ass, I'll be damned.

Arminius wrote:
gib wrote:Image

That's me after gashing my head open on the side of a swimming pool.

Image

What a little Photoshop magic won't do.

Did you not say that you made this little magic for your kids?
And if you made it for your kids: Did you use rationality when you were making it?


No, I don't believe I ever said I made that for my kids.

I might have used a *bit* of rationality: it would be funny to photoshop this, therefore photoshop this.
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It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby phyllo » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:42 pm

Well, if you're going to bring in the unconscious, you can say anything's going therein. I have no way of proving a rational thought process doesn't go on therein, you have no way of proving it does. All I can say is that if an ape has to carry out a rational thought process unconsciously in order to justify scratching his ass, I'll be damned.
Okay, only conscious thinking as you define it is legitimate. :D
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby gib » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:15 am

phyllo wrote:
Well, if you're going to bring in the unconscious, you can say anything's going therein. I have no way of proving a rational thought process doesn't go on therein, you have no way of proving it does. All I can say is that if an ape has to carry out a rational thought process unconsciously in order to justify scratching his ass, I'll be damned.
Okay, only conscious thinking as you define it is legitimate. :D


Well, if you can show me that an animal engages in rational thinking on an unconscious level, I'll hop on board with your proposal.

This whole discussion was inspired by my observation that people feel compelled to think rationally before they feel justified in doing what they want. My favorite example is from Animal Farm: the pigs tell the other animals that since they're the brains of the operation, they need all the apples, because apples are good for the brain. Sounds rational, right? But if you're the horse and you miss those apples, you can do two things: you can tax your brain to try and come up with a counter-argument, a rational argument that logically proves that the pigs shouldn't get all the apples... or you can say: screw it! I want those apple and I'm gonna god damn take those apple. To hell with whether I'm being rational or not!

^ That's what I'm getting at.

Many in this thread would like to say the horse is acting rationally here--and so be it, maybe in a sense he is--but what I mean to say is that the horse in this instance isn't bothering to formulate some kind of immaculately logical and rational argument in his head before feeling justified in opposing the pigs--he doesn't need to--saying fuck it to something that seems rational at first glance can *sometimes* be a healthy thing.

But as you see, the arena in which this plays out is clearly that of conscious thinking. That's why I'm so focused here.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby phyllo » Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:44 pm

Humans spend a lot of time talking and writing so that process of laying out the reasons and logical connections is used to convince, justify and explain. I doubt that it's used the majority of the day. Handy when encountering new and unfamiliar situations.

A new situation would be that the pigs are taking all the apples. You're saying that the horse need not formally think through his response. There seems to be a strong possibility that the course of action will be superficial and that it will produce unexpected consequences. OTOH, maybe access to food is so fundamental that there is nothing to think about. And after all, the pigs are rationalizing rather than reasoning.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby Arminius » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:01 am

gib wrote:
Arminius wrote:
gib wrote:Image

That's me after gashing my head open on the side of a swimming pool.

Image

What a little Photoshop magic won't do.

Did you not say that you made this little magic for your kids?
And if you made it for your kids: Did you use rationality when you were making it?


No, I don't believe I ever said I made that for my kids.

I might have used a *bit* of rationality: it would be funny to photoshop this, therefore photoshop this.

Okay.

Humans program themselves, but need to be programmed as well by others. Education is not possible without using rationality. Children use rationality as well and start educating others already very early.

So, what I have written in this thread so far has to do with the impossibility to be absolutely irrational, except cases of certain kinds of illness.
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby gib » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:09 pm

phyllo wrote:Humans spend a lot of time talking and writing so that process of laying out the reasons and logical connections is used to convince, justify and explain. I doubt that it's used the majority of the day. Handy when encountering new and unfamiliar situations.

A new situation would be that the pigs are taking all the apples. You're saying that the horse need not formally think through his response. There seems to be a strong possibility that the course of action will be superficial and that it will produce unexpected consequences. OTOH, maybe access to food is so fundamental that there is nothing to think about. And after all, the pigs are rationalizing rather than reasoning.


Well, I'm saying that the horse (and other animals) will most likely have a strong sense that the pigs are just trying to manipulate and deceive. After all, that's the impression we get when we read/watch this scene from Animal Farm. I'm saying that this sense is more of an intuition or feeling than a rational thought process. I'm saying that we evolved to have the ability to intuit or "feel" things like this for a reason. Not that intuition or feeling is 100% effective in all situations, but it's not like how most of the hardnosed rationalists like to make it out: that of an crazy, random act whose consequence will be unpredictable and possibly disastrous. We have these intuitions for a reason--they circumvent the brain's tendency to reason a situation out before drawing conclusions on how to act, they allow us to feel confident in a course of action for which we have yet to rationalize the justifications. Why? Because sometimes, rationalizing can be inefficient and slow. Sometimes we may not have sufficient information to draw the proper conclusions through rationality, though we may intuit that information. The systems in the brain for intuition and "sensing" certain things (like manipulation and deception) aren't an illness of the brain, they aren't the brain malfunctioning. There are situations in life for which they evolved to handle.

Arminius wrote:Okay.

Humans program themselves, but need to be programmed as well by others. Education is not possible without using rationality. <-- I agree with that. Children use rationality as well and start educating others already very early.


I agree. It's not like children are incapable of rationality, only that playing doesn't require arduous rationality.

Arminius wrote:So, what I have written in this thread so far has to do with the impossibility to be absolutely irrational, except cases of certain kinds of illness.


I agree with that. Whatever activities we engage in in life, it most likely will involve some degree of rationalizing and some degree of letting rationality go.

When playing with my children, for example, I find that I sometimes go out of my way to try to be irrational (deliberately). So if we're playing with little figurines around a puddle of water, and my son says "Let's jump in the pool!" I might try to think of the most irrational scenario I can: "It's not a pool, it's a poopy toilet!"

But then if I see my kids are playing too close to the road, I might think: "They're playing awfully close to the road. That's dangerous. They might get hit by a car. I should probably tell them to play farther away," putting on my more rational thinking cap.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
- Rick Sanchez
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby Kathrina » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:33 pm

gib wrote:
Kathrina wrote:So irrationality doesn't mean wrong thinking. It means "not thinking" but "bringing some instinctive or emotional drives into thinking".

I'd say it can (sometimes) be effective.

Okay. I can live with that. :)
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby gib » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:37 pm

Kathrina wrote:
gib wrote:
Kathrina wrote:So irrationality doesn't mean wrong thinking. It means "not thinking" but "bringing some instinctive or emotional drives into thinking".

I'd say it can (sometimes) be effective.

Okay. I can live with that. :)


You sure can! You can even depend on that! :mrgreen:
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

It is impossible for a human being to go through life not thinking irrationally even if they think of themselves as rational
Also just as irrational decisions are not always bad then rational ones are not always good no matter what the intention
- surreptitious75

The rating of rationality can be higher and always is higher than the person trying to be rational. Rationality is less emotional than the person delivering it.
- encode_decode

Is that a demon slug in your stomach or are you just happy to see me?
- Rick Sanchez
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gib
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Re: Rationality is overrated

Postby Some Guy in History » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:05 pm

some times, irrationality is only in the eyes of those who don't like the rationality of it, failing to properly AND properly want to, accept the emotional logic that would back it up.
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