[extropy-chat] Logical or rational?

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Mon Dec 11 06:45:35 UTC 2006

Anna writes

>> What's wrong with having one's thoughts based upon
>> one's perspective?  
> What makes one own's personal belief better than
> another?  

One will simply prefer it, I admit---that's all.  When one
*can* indeed criticize one's own views rationally and 
logically, we all should.  Alas, some succeed better than
others, and the former we praise.

>> More to the point, how can one possibly avoid doing
>> so?
> Using logic:)

I meant in the choice of goals. Suppose that you love golf and
wish to build as many golf courses as possible. So long as this
does not conflict with any of your other goals, one simply
cannot say that this is logical or illogical.  Likewise with wanting
to murder all Jews or all non-believers of your religion. If it
doesn't conflict with your other goals, it cannot be said to be
"irrational" or "illogical".  It may be cruel, barbarous, unjust, etc.,
but hardly illogical.

> No matter the reasoning (religion, pride, after life
> reward), the effect outweighs the cause.  Logical is
> knowing that a life is worth close to zero compared to
> a 1000 lives, that's why the bombers are rational but
> not logical.  

But they don't *value* those thousand lives, don't you see?
To them it's as if you refused to step foot through a forest
because you might destroy a thousand ants.  You do walk
the forest, and when it really comes down to it, you don't
value the ants.

That's why values are fundamental (as Jef liked to say). They
determine one's goals.  All that logic can do is to attempt to
make one's goals consistent with each other.

>>being irrational is knowing at some level what you
>>really most want to do, but not being able to do it.
> No. I believe rational is knowing what it is to be
> irrational and choosing to be irrational.

What?   I think that you meant "I believe irrational is knowing
what it is to be irrational and choosing to be irrational", right?

>>I'd quit apologizing for it if I were you  :-)
> Why?  If I feel I screwed up, why should I hesitate to
> apologize?

Because being wrong in the sense of entertaining incorrect 
conjectures is not screwing up!  Screwing up is when you
make a mistake that harms someone.  Instead of apologizing
for having been wrong about something, just admit you were
wrong.  That's entirely adequate.  To say "I'm sorry because
I thought that the moon was made of green cheese" is overkill.
In my opinion, of course.  You are entitled to yours!

> I have nothing to prove and a lot to learn, sorry you
> don't feel the same.

But I do feel the same about that.  I did say that we were in
the same boat:  and that includes trying to learn and trying to
have an open mind.  I don't know where you inferred that
I think I don't have a lot to learn.


P.S.  The quality of your writing and quoting and so on is really
improving!  Thanks for the effort!

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