Is anything ever rational?

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Maxcady10001
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Is anything ever rational?

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 7th, 2017, 9:51 pm

Besides numbers, what can ever be rational? Is any decision rational? Is our behavior ever rational? Rational, meaning logical and of sound judgement.

Rationality, I believe is impossible, because of all that we don't know. This has probably been said many times over, but I would like to see if I understand the argument. We can never act rationally, because we cannot know all of the consequences of our actions. An example: I am driving and I see a child run into the street. I turn hard and I end up hitting a second child I did not see. I did not have knowledge of the second child, so I could not have acted rationally to avoid the child. But, there could always be another child I do not know about, so how could I ever act rationally? I believed I was acting rationally when I swerved away from the first child, but I was only hitting another.

Because we can never obtain full knowledge, we can never act rationally. Also, because we can never have full knowledge, is all action valueless? If we don't know the consequences of our actions how can they be judged. No action can be judged or interpreted as bad or good, if the consequences when the action took place were unknown. If all actions are not rational and do not have any value, why do people continue to place values everywhere?

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Greta
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Greta » October 8th, 2017, 1:18 am

It seems to me that you are conflating rationality with perfection. In lieu of perfection we do the best we can at the time.

It's a blend of of knowledge and understanding that can at least help us make more informed and, thus, more rational decisions.

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LuckyR
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by LuckyR » October 8th, 2017, 3:29 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:Besides numbers, what can ever be rational? Is any decision rational? Is our behavior ever rational? Rational, meaning logical and of sound judgement.

Rationality, I believe is impossible, because of all that we don't know. This has probably been said many times over, but I would like to see if I understand the argument. We can never act rationally, because we cannot know all of the consequences of our actions. An example: I am driving and I see a child run into the street. I turn hard and I end up hitting a second child I did not see. I did not have knowledge of the second child, so I could not have acted rationally to avoid the child. But, there could always be another child I do not know about, so how could I ever act rationally? I believed I was acting rationally when I swerved away from the first child, but I was only hitting another.

Because we can never obtain full knowledge, we can never act rationally. Also, because we can never have full knowledge, is all action valueless? If we don't know the consequences of our actions how can they be judged. No action can be judged or interpreted as bad or good, if the consequences when the action took place were unknown. If all actions are not rational and do not have any value, why do people continue to place values everywhere?
As opposed to Greta's critique, to me this is an issue of perspective. From the perspective of the subject all possible knowledge is irrelevant. All that is relevant is what is known at the time of decision making. It doesn't matter that to an outside, omniscient observer that the subject only knows a small subset of the possible relevant data points at the time of decision making.
"As usual... it depends."

Maxcady10001
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 8th, 2017, 10:53 am

To LuckyR, my original post should have been more focused on there not being an objective rationality. No one can ever be said to have behaved objectively rational, because there is always a more rational way to have behaved. To have behaved objectively rational, is to have behaved with perfect information.
To Greta, I see any claim to rationality as a claim to perfection, perfect knowledge in the moment of decision making. But, if objectively no one is rational, does everyone become rational? Because if we say the only information that is relevant is the information known at the time, then everyone is always behaving rationally, whatever they are doing. Does everyone become objectively rational, because no one is objectively rational?

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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Spectrum » October 9th, 2017, 2:09 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:In response to Greta, a claim to rationality is, I believe a claim to perfection. Subjectively, a claim to perfect information, from their perspective, when acting in the moment. I don't believe anyone can behave objectively rational, that is with all information.
Rationality = use of logic and reason soundly & reasonably to the best of one's knowledge and achieving optimality.

Perfection by is an ideal, is theoretical and by default is an impossibility in reality.

For example if a patient died due to unforeseen elements but if the doctor has done his best rationally as a professional [as generally expected] there is no negligence. In this case, the doctor is also being objectively rational as conditioned by his professional duties as determined by the American Medical Association.

Btw, objectivity is intersubjectivity, there is no absolute independent objectivity.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

Burning ghost
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2017, 3:08 am

Not killing every person I meet seems to be rational? If not then I'd never like to meet you!
AKA badgerjelly

Maxcady10001
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 9th, 2017, 3:31 am

In response to Spectrum, the best use of logic and reason is to have behaved perfectly rational. Any definition of rationality involves the perfect utilization of all available information, the best possible and perfect mean the exact same thing. Your example of the doctor, has the doctor abiding by the legal standards necessary to practice as a doctor, but that does not make his actions objectively rational, were you to ask the doctor what he should have done, he could list a million things that were possible actions at the time that would have prevented the death of the patient, actions the doctor knew at the time could have been undertaken, but he believed he knew the possible consequences of those actions and that they were not the best course of action. Abiding by the law does not equal rational behavior, as rational behavior is the best possible use of all information. An example can be any jury, judge, or lawyer, was their behavior the result of the best possible use of all information, maybe, but whatever done there is legal. Could you elaborate on objectivity being inter-subjectivity? And what do you think about the statement, if objectively no one can be rational, objectively everyone is rational. I have no idea when you will read this.

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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 9th, 2017, 4:50 am

In response to Burning Ghost, it depends on what kind of information you possess. if you believe everyone you meet will attempt to kill you it may be rational to kill them first. It really depends on the reality you live in, if you live in an apocalyptic world or some kind of zombie planet, every person you meet may be trying to kill you, so a rational person may kill them first. I don't know when you will read this, as it is currently 4:50 am

Judaka
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Judaka » October 9th, 2017, 9:47 am

There are many ways to define "rational" thinking, might we say it is dependent upon context? If so then perhaps:

It is irrational to plunge a dagger into your heart if you want to continue living
It is rational to plunge a dagger into your heart if your goal is to end your life

In this sense, you could reach your pursuit of perfection in some instances, or perhaps rationality is "reasonable", "sensible", "agreeable" and so on. Then rationality becomes as much about the person judging your behaviour as anything else and likewise:

It is rational to plunge a dagger into your heart because it is best to escape this hopeless world, life isn't worth the trouble
It is irrational to plunge a dagger into your heart because the world has so much to offer you and life is worth living

There are more definitions of "rational" but all of them allow for things to be "truly rational", I think, because they all allow for interpretation.

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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Steve3007 » October 9th, 2017, 10:25 am

It's all been said. But I'll add my spin anyway.


Rational = the conclusion follows logically from the premise.

So the outcome of a rational argument or decision is only as good as the input.

Or as they say in computing: garbage in, garbage out.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Burning ghost » October 9th, 2017, 10:59 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:In response to Burning Ghost, it depends on what kind of information you possess. if you believe everyone you meet will attempt to kill you it may be rational to kill them first. It really depends on the reality you live in, if you live in an apocalyptic world or some kind of zombie planet, every person you meet may be trying to kill you, so a rational person may kill them first. I don't know when you will read this, as it is currently 4:50 am
Is anything ever rational?

ans: It depends.

So you think it is rational to kill everyone? There you go then! You've answered your own question ... what was the point of posting it?
AKA badgerjelly

Chili
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Chili » October 9th, 2017, 11:24 am

Just as the effective quantity of matter appears to be some amount of "rest matter" with some type of 'energy" added, so it is with the data / reasoning dichotomy as well. We begin reasoning with certain statements or observations which are themselves the result of (perhaps unrealized) reasoning and ideas. It can be quite a "weeding" exercise to try to find the essential truths in the initial logic-laden statements.

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Termin
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Termin » October 9th, 2017, 11:27 am

There has to be because even if you say that there is nothing else that can be rational, then that statement itself would be rational thus showing something that is rational.

Maxcady10001
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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Maxcady10001 » October 9th, 2017, 7:04 pm

In response to Termin, me saying nothing is rational, is not rational, because neither I nor the statement made is rational. I said both the statement and myself were not rational when I said nothing is rational, which in itself is not rational as a statement, because speaking objectively rational is impossible.
Bringing us to the point of Judaku, who illustrates the subjectivity of rationality. Because of the subjectivity of rationality it is impossible for there to be any objectively rational way of saying or doing anything.
In response to Burning Ghost, I have not answered my question, as I just imagined a scenario where killing everyone you meet could be the most rational way to behave, but it is impossible for me to know the most rational way to behave because I cannot behave objectively rational. It may be more rational to hide, or take your own life in that apocalyptic situation.
In response to Steve3007, I dont think a person can ever be objectively rational because all of the required input to be objectively rational can never be obtained. I could tell you at exactly 7:59 p.m a woman will show up at your house and she will try to kill you. You could call the police and have them surround the house, but she shows up with a rocket launcher and destroys you and the house. It could have played out any possible way but you would not have been objectively rational because you could never receive the proper input to behave rationally. What if instead, you left home and stayed in the police station, but she staked out your house waiting for you to leave and blew up the police station. Or what if she was a police officer and while you were there she got you then and you just saved her the trouble of going to your house. Or what if she told me to tell you this and she shows up 2 minutes after I leave. You can never behave objectively rational, although that example is ridiculous, you can just look at the man driving the car example in the first post.
In response to Chili, it does seem as though most of philosophy focusing what is usually considered trivial, but the meaning of which is substantial.
Let me know if what I said didn't make sense.

I wrote this 7pm dont know when anyone else will see it, someone else may have posted something.

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Re: Is anything ever rational?

Post by Atreyu » October 10th, 2017, 1:47 pm

You are confusing "acquiring/having objective consciousness" with "being reasonable" or "thinking objectively". One does not need to know all the variables associated with something in order to be reasonable or "objective" (relatively) about it. All one needs is to be reasonable and objective (as much as possible) with the information one has at the time.

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