The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson
Beyond Rationality and Reasoning
In my Articles, "Rationality" and "Reasoning", I explained the importance of sound rationality and proper reasoning. Upon reading an interview of Mattias Desmet in a web article on a different topic, Mattias Desmet: ‘Mass Formation’ Hypnosis and the Rise of Technocratic Totalitarianism, I realized that I had not placed rationality and reasoning in context to the ethical principles of your conclusions. He discussed the importance of going beyond rationality and reasoning to reach a decision on the suitability, rightness, or appropriateness, and the appropriate actions to undertake based on your rational and reasoned conclusions and ethical principles. I, therefore, realized that I had not placed rationality and reasoning in context to ethical principles, something that I have always tried to do in my Articles and Chirps but have never formally considered. As he explained in this interview:
“Rationality is always blind. If we believe we are rational, we usually become blind to all the subjective factors that play a role in rational thinking. That’s also the reason why I believe that rationality or rational understanding can never be the basis of human living. The only thing that can really organize society and human living in a fruitful way and in a humane way is ethical principles. It is our ethical principles, the eternal principles of humanity, that should be the basis of humanity living together. We can be rational. We have to think rationally, of course. But we should understand that rationality, in itself, can never grasp the essence of our human existence and can never grasp the essence of everything around us.
That is exactly what science showed us so clearly. We often think that there is a mechanist, materialist, rationalist view of the world, which believes that the entire universe is a material system of molecules and atoms which interact with each other according to the laws of mechanics, and which can be completely understood in a rational way.
We often believe that this rationalist human in the world equals the scientific human in the world. But that’s actually not true. That’s exactly what all the major scientists showed us, namely, that in the end, the essence of life, the essence of nature around us, and the essence of the world is irrational. That’s something that was proven by complex dynamic systems theory, which showed, paradoxically, in a strictly rational way, that the essence of all complex dynamic systems, which applies to most of nature, is strictly irrational.”
“This rational understanding is extremely limited, and can never be the basis of society. Throughout the last few centuries, we have been thinking that rational understanding is crucial, and that it is the basis of humanity living together. The entire tradition of enlightenment actually believed that a society should be organized according to rational knowledge and rational understanding, and that we should try to manipulate the world around us in a rational way, in such a way that it becomes more friendly to the human being.
But we should do our utmost best to open up, to become aware of the limitations of logical and rational understanding, and to develop a different connection with our environment, a different way of knowing the things around us, which is much more based on resonance and on empathic resonance with the things around us in such a way that we discover these eternal principles of humanity, and that we can use them, or that we can base humanity living together on these ethical principles, rather than on a kind of rational analysis, which is always, in the end, based on factors that are radically irrational.
That’s the point. If we think that the rational understanding is the basis of everything, in the end, we arrive in a completely irrational society. That’s what I think the corona crisis shows us now. People think that they behave rationally, but upon closer consideration, it is clear, I think, that their behavior at most respects is radically irrational and self-destructive.”
Consequently, we all must consider our ethical principles after reaching a rational and reasonable conclusion and before we act on our conclusion. This begets the question of ‘What are your ethical principles?’, for if you have improper or unsound principles, then you will undertake inappropriate words and deeds. Most people have two sets of principles – one for their personal conduct and one for their civil conduct. And often, these two sets of principles are a dichotomy, as their conduct in their personal life is different from their conduct in their civil actions. This dichotomy often leads them to speak and act in their civil life in a manner that they would not countenance in their personal life. In this, they have forgotten the Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This Golden Rule needs to be applied in all aspects of our lives, both personal and civil, for an amicable life and cordial society.
Our personal ethical principles need to be more than obedience to the law, as I Chirp on, "10/14/19 Doing Nothing Illegal". I applaud those who have done nothing illegal, but life is more than legal versus illegal. One can live a perfectly legal life, and at the same time, one can live an immoral and unethical life. This is because the law can only deal with actions that cause direct harm to someone or society. There are many instances, however, where legal activities are clearly unethical or immoral. And the law cannot deal with unethical or immoral actions as they often do not cause direct harm, and they are notoriously difficult to define and codify. Our personal ethical principles must, therefore, be guided by morals and ethics. Much of these morals and ethics are guided by religious principles, as I have written in my Articles on “Religiosity”, and by applying proper and sound ethics to your conduct. However, most people do not consciously have ethics but rely on what they have been taught in their youth and what they have experienced and learned in their adulthood. Along the way to acquiring these ethics, they experience many bumps in the road that often have negative repercussions on their life. It is for this reason I have written my Article, “Pearls of Wisdom”, which are the ethics I have acquired as a result of my life’s experience. Hopefully, these bumps can be avoided or ameliorated by applying these pearls.
Our civil ethical principles must be based on "Rationality" and "Reasoning" for them to be effective. This rationality and reasoning must be fact-based and logically sound for them to be relevant, and they must account for human nature, for:
"To deny human nature, or to not
acknowledge human nature, is foolish. To not do so will result in
much effort, time, and monies being spent on a task that is doomed
- Mark Dawson
Civil society asks the deeply ethical question of how we want to treat one another — as individuals, as organizations, as governments, as economies, and as countries. The question of what civil ethics means is central to many discussions taking place at many levels in our society.
Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders civil ethical principles are based on Social Justice and other Adjective Justice, Identity Politics, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusions (DEI), and a Democratic Constitution, as I have written in my Chirps on, "05/08/20 Social Justice", "04/22/21 Identity Politics is Tribal Behavior", "04/05/22 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)", and Article on "A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution". While Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders civil ethical principles are based upon a belief in the primacy and equality of the individual, Liberty and Freedom for All, and a Republican Constitution, as I have written in my Articles, "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All" and "A Republican Constitution or a Democratic Constitution".
Each different set of civil ethical principles leads to different political policies and agendas and different speech and actions of their supporters, which often leads to the bitter partisanship that exists in today’s America. As a result, we often talk past each other as we have different ethical principles guiding our dialog, debates, and activism. In addition, many times, the same word or term has different meanings based on your civil ethics, which leads to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the other persons meaning, which then contributes to partisanship. A rational and reasonable person who is guided by proper civil ethical principles understands the importance of unambiguous language to a "A Civil Society" and the destructiveness of "Divisiveness in America". As such, they never engage in "The Three D's (Demonize, Denigrate, Disparage) of Modern Political Debate", and they try to establish a commonality of words and terms to properly engage in a civil discussion.
This bitter partisanship, which is polarizing America, is leading many of the Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders to embrace restricting the free speech of Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders. The Progressives/Leftists and Democrat Party Leaders believe that as they are more intelligent, better educated, and morally superior, they are, of course, always correct. Consequently, Conservatives and Republican Party Leaders are wrong and reprehensible, and they must be silenced lest they harm America and the American people. This silencing can only be achieved through despotism, which is antithetical to civil ethics and an affront to rationality and reasoning.
If we apply sound ethical principles to proper rationality and reasoning and then conduct our civil speech and actions with regard for each other, then we may be able to avoid this bitter partisanship and preserve our "American Ideals and Ideas". Otherwise, we may ride down a slippery slope into despotism and destroy ourselves. As a great American once said before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, on Jan. 27, 1838, about "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions":
"At what point then is the approach
of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must
spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction
be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a
nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by
- Abraham Lincoln
If we continue down this slippery slope, we will indeed be committing suicide.