Monday, August 27, 2007

Do You Have A Reason For Saying That? Reasons of Reason pt. 1

I've had some interesting exchanges out in the blogosphere over the last week or so, that got me to override my ever expanding workweek, and swipe some time to post on the question of just what it is that is valid for, and involved in, thinking in regards to facts, myths, poetry, philosophy and religion.

I had one of my usual 8-10 page posts mostly together last night, and then had one of those annoying realizations that I was asking and answering the wrong question.

The right question, or rather the direction of the right question, I think, is 'What is Reason?'

Doesn't seem like there's going to be a lot of progress in any arguments without this getting settled on first, or at least not without first stating what my assessment of it is. As things stand now, we've got leftists, logic choppers, atheists, religionists, philosophers and misosophers all laying claim to using Reason, and through their flawless execution of said Reason, all claim to show the others to be at best in error, or (and this is by far the more preferable conclusion) - Fools.


Seems to me that if everyone thinks they're right (including those who manage to conclude that there is no 'Right' and no 'Wrong' [doh!]), then contrarian that I am, I'm betting that most of them (us) are probably wrong - or if not flat out Dufus wrong, they are at least a wee bit flawed somewhere in their... well... reasoning.

So I did a little (emphasis on little) research on 'Reason' this morning, and got some interesting results about what it is.

Have a gander:

  • a rational motive for a belief or action; "the reason that war was declared"; "the grounds for their declaration"

  • an explanation of the cause of some phenomenon; "the reason a steady state was never reached was that the back pressure built up too slowly"

  • the capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination; "we are told that man is endowed with reason and capable of distinguishing good from evil"

  • rationality: the state of having good sense and sound judgment; "his rationality may have been impaired"; "he had to rely less on reason than on rousing their emotions"

  • decide by reasoning; draw or come to a conclusion; "We reasoned that it was cheaper to rent than to buy a house"

  • cause: a justification for something existing or happening; "he had no cause to complain"; "they had good reason to rejoice"

  • argue: present reasons and arguments
    a fact that logically justifies some premise or conclusion; "there is reason to believe he is lying"

  • think logically; "The children must learn to reason"

  • or
  • Reason is the use of logical faculties to arrive at truth.

  • The wisdom which ensues from the union of buddhi with manas, as contrasted with the higher immanent wisdom of atma-buddhi; also the human mind, which finds its place in the union of the higher and lower nature through the mediating fourth principle or kama, which itself works through what the Qabbalists call nephesh or the Latins the anima. Again, in some European philosophers, the characteristics of the Logos, which is stated to be cosmic mind or the Third Logos.

  • The power of the soul through which we perceive the surrounding world and we develop our relation with it. We aquire experience of God by means of the nous and we formulate this experience, when required, by means of reason, in so far as it is attainable.

  • Or
  • a mental faculty, which deals with the changeable relative, is the intellectual faculty employed in adapting thought or action to some end, and is based on manmade premises and outer facts. Philosophically, reason is the power by which first principles are grasped prior to experience, as distinguished from understanding. Reason opens the Light on your Path. All reasoning is thinking, but not all thinking is reasoning, because not all thoughts are necessarily conscious.

  • [A298/B355] "All our knowledge starts with the senses, proceeds from thence to the understanding, and ends with reason, beyond which there is no higher faculty".

  • the category of epistemic methods based on extrospection – ie awareness of existence outside of our minds. There exists three main methods – which are logic, sense perception and concept-formation.

  • or
  • is a calculator. So isn't it a strange thought that the calculating tool would have a moral will?

  • "Jefferson held that reason is implanted in both physical nature and human nature. The reason of physical nature is its order. The reason of human nature is our ability to understand a fair portion of that order." (Miller, 4.)To References This is an idea typical of the Enlightenment. The idea of reason inherent in nature goes back to Plato's notion of a universe of "divine" ideas of which the natural objects of our universe are imitations.

Some of these are interesting, some even downright amusing, however I find none of them to be all too satisfying. I've got an idea or two I'm going to develop, and hopefully in a series of smaller posts, rather than my usual hefty page whacker... we'll see what we see.

Care to offer up a reason or two for your favorite Reason first?

I'll be back...