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Do we need reasons? (2)

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

‘What does it mean to be human being?’ is the title of a book which is a compilation of response to the question from acclaimed personalities from diverse fields. We follow instincts and to that extent we are no different from rest of the living organisms. Suicide may be another major difference. Unless the act of suicide somehow improves the contribution to the genetic pool of the species, it is never found in any other species except human beings. It means that we – as humans – are capable to act against our prime instinct to survive. It also suggests that we can resist all other instincts to an extent that it may threaten our own life.

The question is: Is reasoning alone sufficient for us to resist our instincts?

Can a mother stop trying to save her child given that she is convinced of no chances of survival of her child?

It is not hard to find examples of people who stood for a purpose and sacrificed their lives. Is it reasoning alone that prompted them to make such a sacrifice?

In everyday life, we make so many choices. We also compromise with some of our priorities and let go our preferences in daily life – for one or the other reason. Can we explain such reasons logically (with mathematical rigor) for every single act?

Do we challenge the need to justify our acts?

We may not be able to trace out logically all our acts to avoid an accident while driving. All our instantaneous reflexes cannot be traced out for its logical roots. Although it doesn’t mean that it cannot have purely logical roots. Similarly, the decisions and choices that we make after long deliberations may not be logically traceable.  Again, it doesn’t mean that these may not have logical roots.

So, irrespective of our ability to find reasons, do we want to believe that we need reasons?

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Categories: Reasons

Do we need reasons?

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

I presume most of us like to believe that we are reasonable, that we are not irrational, and that we are open-minded. Often, we tend to justify our doings and non-doings to ourselves and others even if not demanded. It is as if we feel a force to prove ‘righteousness’ of everything we do and don’t do.  Not only as an afterthought, this urge to reason out every act initiates and continues even before and during our everyday activity and for many of us it could occupy most of our time and attention.  

In this sense and context, the above question ‘Do we need reasons?’ is posed.Image

Is it that we have to be ‘reasonable’ because we are human beings?

Is ‘being reasonable’ same as ‘being responsible’?

Can we reason out everything that we do and don’t do?

Can a player every time reason out why he played so?

Are our reflexes reasonable? Can we justify our reflexes?

Are we answerable for the way we respond?

Is it that our response to an event is expected to be more reasonable than our reaction?

Is it possible to refine our response to such an extent that it is reasonable even if it is spontaneous?

Does reasoning slow us down? Can a batsman pose for a while to reason out how and why should he play the ball? Can reflexes be refined by practice?

Our thinking can change our response, can it change our reflex?

Can we justify our passion, our enthusiasm, our love?

Do we need reasons to continue doing what we enjoy most?

Can we justify why we enjoy doing something while others find the same thing an absolute nonsense?

Can we change our liking, our taste based absolutely on reasoning?

Do we need reasons to enjoy?

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Why should I ponder on questions like these?

Can I suspend this ‘Why?’ for a while?

Is all our thinking centered on ‘Why’?

Categories: Reasons