Blog Post

A Rationalist Can Be as Deceptive as A Fraudulent Guru

A Blog Post

Be it religion or rationalism, the quality or utility of any method or philosophy depends upon the people who use them. A rationalist is not necessarily progressive, advanced or well informed. Many people claim themselves as rationalists, but you can see inconsistencies in their thinking and behavior. Their actions and decisions are not always based upon sound judgment or proper use of reason, and they do not always take up right causes. Just as religion, rationalism can be misused for personal and selfish reasons, and being human, rationalists can make any number of mistakes in their thinking, analysis and judgment.

Rationalists do not have all the answers to the riddles of the universe, nor scientists nor philosophers nor spiritualists. The universe is a complex phenomenon, where you will find a huge diversity in almost every aspect, including the way things work or beings behave. We may find patterns and formations, but even they may not always appear with the same accuracy or predictability.

Human beings represent even greater complexity. You cannot easily categorize them into set categories as this and that since they possess a mixture of qualities, which they may or may not use as a part of their adaptation and survival. Therefore, do not be carried away when you meet a rationalist or blindly believe in what they say. Put them to the same test of reason and see them from your observation and analysis.

Truth cannot easily be known by following a single path, philosophy, method or tool in a complex universe. You need a variety of tools and an integrated approach. You also need an open mind, and the humility that you may not have all the information and you may not always be right. Despite all precautions, you may still be wrong because your mind is subject to many cognitive distortions and logical fallacies due to the filters and shortcuts used by your mind to process large amounts of information. Use reason wherever necessary, but have faith in your goals and values and the methods you choose.

Rationalists are humans, and they have the same imperfections built into them as any other. They may use reason, but they are still vulnerable to desires, attachments, bias, negative emotions, behavioral problems, cognitive distortions, perceptual errors and hasty judgment. They cannot always rely upon reason when they have to deal with ambiguity, complexity, diversity, and insufficient evidence or information. Just as others, they have to grapple with the same problem to make sense of their environment, others and their own behavior. Therefore appreciate their service to the world, if you feel so, but always keep your eyes and mind open.