Extract from paper: The Paradox of Rationality vs. Integration

From: Chen Yixiong, Eric (cyixiong@yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Aug 03 2001 - 22:22:30 MDT

Note: This paper may contain inaccuracies, omissions or other defects because I had not completed, revised and consolidated it.

Concept 3: The Paradox of Rationality vs. Integration

We can sum up one of the core ideas with this theory with this paradox. Imagine that you live in a society with only three members, yourself and two neighbors called "A" and "B". Let us say that A likes to kill animals brutally and worships the Satan, B preaches strong religion and compassion for all, and C, yourself, a free thinker and skeptic.


Now, as you can see, all of you have ideas that conflict with each other. What if all of you think irrationally (yes, even skeptics can think irrationally skeptical), refusing to accept each other's perspective? You will have three options: Shut up about your ideas, start a conflict with your neighbors or live away from them.


In our society, this happens too often and we find bloodbaths, brutal violence, and warfare occurring around the world when conflicts spiral out of control. We can also find censorship, pretensions of a harmonious society and ambiguous doubletalk statements like "everything has the correct point in accordance to their perspective" when people attempt to minimize conflict and impose their way.


You may wonder what if we all think rationally even when starting with irrational beliefs. In such a case, we will actively seek viewpoints contrary to our own to minimize guilt (of learning about the truth too late) and in our quest for a more accurate personal theory about the universe. Eventually, through the free exchange of incompatible views and from our seeking of more knowledge, we will come across a theory that satisfies all the logical prerequisites. Since this theory and our other theories will mutually exclude each other, so we can only believe in this theory and only this theory.


Hence, in a society with even one irrational member, we have to exercise censorship to prevent conflicts from occurring, or we will have to live outside each other's influence. However, in a society with only rational members, we will eventually come to a common consensus while enjoying free speech. Hence, the paradox shows itself.

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