Re: Extract from paper: The Paradox of Rationality vs. Integration

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Aug 06 2001 - 02:08:36 MDT

Eric wrote
> >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.
> >

I think this theory is highly questionable. We do not just look
for what satisfies all logical prerequisites. We are not
Vulcans or logic machines. It is very highly doubtful that the
multiplicity of viewpoints towards life and universe all reduce
to such a single core that there can be one right answer, with
only those in agreement with that answer and fully accepting it
being "rational". It is also false that theories of meaning and
signficance especially mutually exclude each other.

Given the shakiness of the premise, all conclusions from it are
unlikely to be valid and certainly are unlikely to be universal
truths to be applied to the larger problem of societies in

> >
> >
> >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.

Bad premises lead to erroneous conclusions. There is no reason
to believe that all rational people will come to a common
consensus about a great many things.

- samantha

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