If there were a a good reason to believe that irrational thinking--or at least a certain train of irrational beliefs--leads to greater happiness and prosperity (and I think there is a bit of psych research that suggests this is true), could a rational person decide to think irrationally--to adopt irrational beliefs--and would that itself be a rational decision?
How do you know if you are reasonable?
I'm arguing with my boss when she says something stupid. I know in my gut it's stupid. But I also know that my emotions are elevated and that she might be right--maybe what I think is stupid is really just evidence that I haven't grasped her perspective. So I try opening my ears to figure out what she meant. I figure out her perspective, and suddenly she seems to be making perfect sense, and everything I'd said before was stupid.
Fast forward an hour. The argument is over, and I'm trying to work on a project. But something is bugging me and I can't figure out what it is. Suddenly I realize I never made my argument clear to my boss. I adopted her perspective, figured out where she was coming from, and abandoned my perspective. But now I'm realizing that for one reason or another, I was right all along. Her perspective was more narrowly focused than mine. Mine was better the whole time. And dagnabbit, she walked away having won the argument despite it...
One popular take on religious belief is that it can only be arrived at through faith, rather than considerations of evidence or reasons. Even admitting there to be a paucity of evidence in favor of god's existence, we are to suppose that one may legitimately believe in him nonetheless. A theist who not only holds this view about, but claims to believe in god in precisely this way, would then seem to claim something like the following: "Although I recognize there to be insufficient evidence for the existence of god, I still believe in him."
I want to ask whether we can really take this claim at face value. Set aside the question of whether religious belief is justified from an objective standpoint, and ask whether it is really coherent for someone to genuinely believe both (1) that X, and (2) that there is insufficient evidence for belief in X. To me this notion has a paradoxical flavor, and I wonder if what is really going on in here is something else entirely. That is, I wonder whether theists of the...
Some people have argued that because people's choices are often influenced by factors that are not relevant to rational decision making, people do not have free will. For instance, people are much more willing to register as an organ donor on their driver's liscenses if this is presented as the default option ("check this box to be an organ donor" vs "check this box to opt out of being an organ donor"). Does a person need to be rational in order to have free will?
Do we have a duty to resolve contradictions within our own thoughts and opinions? For example, does a person who thinks killing animals is very wrong, but who has no qualms eating meat, need to revise one opinion or the other? What about someone who doesn't really believe in a god, yet insists on worshipping one and arguing for its existence?
Or is it our choice to live with contradictions as we choose?
Do you only do a good deed (or just about anything), because you're gaining something from it yourself?
I have thought this with my friend and she thinks people are naturally "good".
I just think that as we are animals, we are naturally finding ways to survive.
Of course sometimes people make bad decisions, but they are still thinking that the choice is best for them.
I think that anyone who knows how to hold a grudge knows what it's like to wish to remain angry at someone. I mean something like the following:
1. You're angry at someone.
2. Since you're angry, you'd like to punish or otherwise get back at this
3. But you know that this can't happen if your feelings cool and you lose
4. So part of your plan for revenge consists precisely in remaining angry.
5. In this way, anger takes itself as an objective.
Accordingly, there is an odd feeling of disappointment you get when you inevitably calm down ("Don't give up! Stay mad!"). Is there something irrational about thinking this way?