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Regional Poll • Shall we add the tag "LGBT" to Philosophy 115?
Poll called by The Eudaemonium of Dr George
Voting opened 6 days ago and will close . Open to residents. You cannot vote as you are not logged in.
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Philosophy 115 Regional Message Board
Let me repeat a point from a long time ago:
rational means evidence based, logical, coherent, something not dependent on time or place or person or prior beliefs. "1+1=2" has been the same in all cultures and all times and for all religions since the invention of base-10 mathematics.
irrational includes all things that are not rational; it does not necessarily connote being opposed to rationality, but is simply based on something else. "I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour" is an irrational statement; some scientists/philosophers/thinkers can affirm this because it is completely removed from rationality. There's no way to falsify or otherwise test this proposition.
anti-rational is when one has rational reasons to believe a proposition, but instead believes the opposite. When concerning religion, this is called fideism, that the truth claims of religion are superior to those of science. "I believe Noah saved all the land animals of his day by preserving a pair of each on the Ark," is an example of such a statement that cannot be literally true. The dimensions of the boat described wouldn't be large enough to hold a pair of absolutely every separate species on Earth, nor even tiny petri dishes with cell samples from every living species. And where would Noah store food for all those animals? And let's not talk about the manure problem. If one conceded that such was not literally true, but only symbolically true/meaningful, then the statement is no longer anti-rational, but irrational.
Is that clear?
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RIP, Antvaan, Regnum dei et mundi, Mind, and Mousecoptopia.
So is "1+1 = 2" still rational if I believe it because my Tarot reader assured me it was so? Is "16954327 + 39528807 = 56483134" rational even if I can only offer rules I was taught in grade school for its truth, but am unable to explain why those rules might work? And if I claim that I know there is a God due to an ineffable experience I had, one that I am incapable of reducing to language and sharing, is my statement that there is a God still necessarily irrational?
By your (Dr G's) definition, rationality is not a property of a statement, but rather one of a statement together with a justification for accepting it.
That's a rather narrow definition of rationality, and one that actually contradicts itself. Take your concept of "evidence based", for instance: different cultures, different people, in different times and places, have differing standards of what counts as "evidence".
Therefore if we were to adopt such a narrow standard, only mathematical proofs would be "rational". That would exclude most of what is considered philosophy, including all ethical questions. The really interesting and existentially important questions of life cannot be solved by mathematics.
The fact is, there are very different accounts of what "rationality" is. An excellent analysis of this topic is Alasdair MacIntyre's Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
That's a rather extreme stance, one that seems to be based in a kind of logical positivism. Just because something is not empirically verifiable does not mean that it is "irrational". It simply means it does not fall under the purview of science.
Then I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding. I was using a rather archaic definition of "rational."
Could Dr George have been saying instead that rationality emerges as the property of a process in which claims are measured against 'something', regardless of what exactly that 'something' is? One can be rational in, say, assessing a claim about the age of the Earth by considering what the Bible has to say about it, as it's the action of comparing the claim to some other thing we can call evidence that makes the thinker rational?
I wasn't trying to offer a global definition of rationality, simply my own. I must admit to sympathizing with the agenda of the logical positivists, even though they went *SPLAT* early in their development. I wish more philosophers would devote more time and thought to reconstructing it as a viable hermeneutic, for I think it was at least headed in the right direction. As it is now, it's a footnote for before the rise of postmodernism.
If philosophy is second-order thinking--thinking about thinking--then if one is evaluating irrational thought, say metaphysics, then one might hope to clear up the field and eliminate bad metaphysics, but the final result one ends up with (assuming one tries to construction a better metaphysics) would still be irrational. I might say much the same of ethics--we can rationally try to clean up the edges of it and might say, "If you base your ethics on X, then you will end up supporting A," but as there is no universally-accepted definition of the good, all ethics that strive to promote the good will be irrational.
Obviously, then, I'm mostly interested in epistemology, the nature of knowledge. Truth = justified true beliefs. Since we can't investigate all knowledge on our own (and aren't qualified in most fields to begin with), we have to look to qualified experts in their fields, but we must be mindful that some truths are subject to revision as knowledge expands. The early experts on dinosaurs originally thought most or all of them walked on all fours with their legs extended out from their bodies like modern lizards, but the overwhelming consensus now is that they walked more or less with their legs under them, like modern birds. T-Rex is now thought to've moved with its body parallel to the ground (and therefore its tail in the air, rather than the old conception, seen in early movies like the original King Kong, where "T-Rex" stood straight up, legs out from its body, and dragging its tail on the ground). Historians are quite certain that the American Declaration of Independence was signed on 4 July 1776, but that could be revised in light of new evidence.
Unfortunately, the consensus among philosophers is that there are no experts on religion. Many people have profound religious experiences, but such are necessarily subjective unless you are talking about something witnessed by a number of people like the parting of the Red Sea. Alas, there are no well-documented occurrences of such things in modern times, just testaments of people in antiquity. Lest we give these testaments too much weight, similar claims were made by many others in antiquity, all of which most modern thinkers dismiss as folk tales or outright fabrications.
But in summary, speaking to the point at hand, I would say, for me, rational is always good and anti-rational is always bad, but irrational is not necessarily good or bad, just separate. One does not typically assign a truth value to a poem, for instance; one might say it was beautiful or spoke deeply to the human condition, or was a nice protest of war. I doubt Arlo Guthrie had all of the experiences he sang about in Alice's Restaurant,, but it's still a very fine and amusing song.
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Sorry about the puppet die-off. I'll tend to that today.
My argument wasn't based on religion at all but on a rational assessment of the points under consideration. The only people using religion as a basis for it are those arguing against it.
My computer finds Dr. George's definition of rationality both elitist and absurd. Using a qualifier to base your decision is an elitist concept. Computers use binary code. There is no 2.
The current concept of marriage equality is more "seperate but equal" than any position I have supported. Your argument is like saying people are seperate but equal because we classify people as male or female. The fact is my suggestion would be just as equal, the current definition of marriage leaves many claims just as warranted as gays wanting a union completely out in the cold, so how is it equal?