Home > Reasons > Do we need reasons? (2)

Do we need reasons? (2)

‘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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