[extropy-chat] examples of rational irrationalism

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Dec 6 14:32:31 UTC 2006

I can't let further posts on topic this pass without comment.

First of all, the most immediate and well known examples of "irrational
rationalism" are those provided by the philosophers who provide
examples of how an irrational person cannot be intimidated or coerced
in many cases as much as can a completely rational one.  In fact,
this is the entire evolutionary purpose of the emotion anger.  Anger
is a berserker-like state into which one falls that was designed to 
avoid being manipulated by others:  even though someone has 
calculated that it is in your short term self-interest for you to comply
with their demands, it may be that your anger saves you:  others know
this, and are more accomodating for fear of "making you mad".

> I was trying to say that some irrational thinking & behavior can be
> less destructive than others,

For sure!

> so that irrational thinking & behavior can be default rational.

This risks messing up the meaning of the terms;  we should simply
say that it may be rational to have someone like Ronald Reagan
behind the button, because if the Soviets attack, he's programmed
by his religious memes to counter-attack.  AND THEY KNOW THIS.

> Aggressive nationalism is irrational however in an aggressively
> nationalistic world,

Why?   No offense, but this sounds exactly like the usual mindless
pablum presented thoughtlessly and emotionally from certain quarters
because it sounds nice.  But maybe I just don't quite see where you
are coming from.

> aggressive nationalism can mean national survival-- a default rationalism.

Duh! Yes!  Consider virtually any 18th century American plains Indian
tribe:  to fail to be aggressive was to court immediate disaster. And this
has been the normal, usual, even default condition throughout history!


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