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Important Frames for a Rational Worldview - Comments

ccburke's Avatar Comment 1 by ccburke

Reason.

Fri, 28 May 2010 16:04:23 UTC | #474470

Savant's Avatar Comment 2 by Savant

Comment 1 by ccburke :

Reason.

Reason is very important, but it's more of a process than a fundamental value. We see this in the fact that so many people reject the process of reason when they adopt ideas and beliefs that clearly have no rational foundation - typically because those ideas are founded on the supernatural.

Such people may not be interested in the processes of reason but they are nonetheless driven by fundamental values on which reason (and rationality) are based, such as Freedom, Independence, and Individuality as I've written above. I'm looking for ways to help strengthen the connection in people's minds between these basic values that we all share and revere and the rational worldview they support. That may help them to begin developing conceptual frames of rational thought which will contrast with their pre-existing conceptual frames of superstition and blind faith. By setting up an internal conflict within their minds, perhaps we can stimulate some critical thinking with regards to these issues, and begin to break down the dogmatic barriers of unquestioning belief.

Fri, 28 May 2010 19:23:49 UTC | #474516

katt33's Avatar Comment 3 by katt33

It is also a process and if one has been raised in a very religious or spiritual setting it can't happen overnight and there will be lots of starts and stops. That also has to be understood and also that that person may not be okay giving up fully a spiritual life (meditation and such) and that should be okay, so long as they also embrace science and reason.

Fri, 28 May 2010 20:06:22 UTC | #474528

katt33's Avatar Comment 4 by katt33

It is also a process and if one has been raised in a very religious or spiritual setting it can't happen overnight and there will be lots of starts and stops. That also has to be understood and also that that person may not be okay giving up fully a spiritual life (meditation and such) and that should be okay, so long as they also embrace science and reason.

Fri, 28 May 2010 20:06:53 UTC | #474529

katt33's Avatar Comment 5 by katt33

It is also a process and if one has been raised in a very religious or spiritual setting it can't happen overnight and there will be lots of starts and stops. That also has to be understood and also that that person may not be okay giving up fully a spiritual life (meditation and such) and that should be okay, so long as they also embrace science and reason.

Fri, 28 May 2010 20:07:14 UTC | #474530

euprax's Avatar Comment 6 by euprax

Hi Savant,

I like your list of values, and I think that most people would agree with them. However, freedom, individuality and independence are really not distinct and could probably be summed up simply with freedom from imposed views (the rest follows). I say most people would agree with you because your values are not necessarily the core values of deeply religous people.

For them, I would say that obedience to the higher power is paramount. Tim Keller, in his book "Reasons for God", as well as C.S. Lewis see the atheist's need for freedom as a vice that encourages self-centered, as opposed to god-centered, thinking. Mr. Keller even goes so far as to say that obedience to god is the highest form of freedom (which sounds like nonsense to most rationalists)! For many theists and people seeking supernatual purposes, the knowlege that you are "on the path" is more important than pursing worldly goals or "petty" personal freedoms, which they see as the spiritual equivalent of a teenager's rant against its parents.

I also noticed that you did not agree with ccburkes suggestion of Reason being the core, or philosophical bedrock, of the rational worldview, since it is a "process". I would have to disgree with you on this one.

First of all, the three values you propose are followed up with a REASONED description and justification for taking them, which only a rationalist would accept. Second, simply accepting these three values without already accepting rationalism is merely replacing one arbitrary value set with another. The whole value of reason is that it ties observations to conclusions and integrates our worldview without being subject to the "feelings" test that we, as humans, tend to do. Even if everyone agrees with your values, you are still in the position of needing reason to differentiate them from the other alternative value sets out there.

Sun, 30 May 2010 21:10:46 UTC | #474907

Ailis R's Avatar Comment 7 by Ailis R

Trust in the validity of observation. As a former Christian, I can't tell you how many mental backflips and contortions I went through to justify Christian faith within what I knew to be true about the world. I was always just staying one step ahead of my own better judgement .. If I had been encouraged earlier to trust my observations of the world, rather than think the world is a semi-illusory thing that God might magically alter at any minute, I think I'd have come to a rational worldview earlier.

Also, I'd almost say that independence is an outgrowth of a rational worldview rather than its foundation. It was only AFTER stopping believing that I realized - hey, all those times I searched desperately for some guiding signal for my life? And then "found" one and made a decision? It was really just me, all along. - When I had this thought, it terrified me how many decisions I had basically abdicated in favor of some supposed divine plan. Very sad.

Mon, 31 May 2010 19:44:01 UTC | #475178

Savant's Avatar Comment 8 by Savant

...freedom, individuality and independence are really not distinct and could probably be summed up simply with freedom from imposed views...

Trying to set clear boundaries to delineate values is at best a tenuous project, and necessarily quite subjective. Although there is much overlap between freedom, individuality and independence they each have their own connotations for most people, so I would say it's fair to consider them separately when using them to construct conceptual frames.

First of all, the three values you propose are followed up with a REASONED description and justification for taking them... (etc.)

There is a strong danger of over-analyzing and of getting lost in semantic arguments that I think is best avoided. Providing a clearer understanding of the reasons - any reasons - for free judgment and critical thinking would be more beneficial to our cause. Simply put, there are many basic values which are widely held and which can be shown to support a rational worldview. Recognizing them and doing whatever we can to emphasize how rationality serves them is key to strengthening the attraction of a rational worldview.

It would be great to get some more suggestions of fundamental values and how they can be shown to support rational thought.

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 04:05:22 UTC | #475262

Savant's Avatar Comment 9 by Savant

INDEPENDENCE:

I choose to do my own will, not to be told what to do.

I choose my own path, not one imposed by other people, writings or superstitions.

I rely on my own understanding of right and wrong, not one forced upon me by others.

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 17:12:57 UTC | #875996

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 10 by ZenDruid

SCEPTICISM -- Don't believe anything new that you happen to hear.

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:09:55 UTC | #876016

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 11 by Schrodinger's Cat

The difference between a rationalist and an irrationalist is quite simply how they define the word 'know'. To an irrationalist...'know' is an end point, a fixed place. To a rationalist....'know' is a process, whose contents move purposefully towards greater expansiveness

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:59:08 UTC | #876042

Savant's Avatar Comment 12 by Savant

SCEPTICISM -- Don't believe anything new that you happen to hear

Good. Skepticism is first cousin to Critical Thinking.

Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:02:18 UTC | #876217