Staying Rational in an Irrational World

Source of photo: https://psychologia.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/rational-irrational-functions-jung-300×100.jpg

Trying to be rational in an irrational world is the inspiration for this blog. I will leave it to my readers and to posterity to decide whether my blog posts project a rational take on controversial topics, but I do think that my opinions (and these are my honest opinions) are rational.

As the Carl Jung graphic succinctly illustrates, being rational requires thinking rather than intuition. This is not to suggest that intuition is all bad, but society is often shaped by how people feel (intuition) vs how people think. Thinking, especially critical thinking, is at a premium in our society today.

Need evidence as to this point?

Just look at how people react to media. On social media, people are not typically engaged in critical thinking. People often post things to elicit some sort of emotional response. Political messages are far more effective on social media than they ever were on traditional media (like television and radio).

Want to start an argument and lose friends on Facebook?

Just post something negative or positive about President Trump, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, or any other polarizing political figure or political subject and make the post public (meaning anyone can see it, including people who are not your friends) and watch the irrational (read emotional) responses, both pro and con, start flying in the comments section.

Defaulting into tribalism and victimology when debating political, religious, or controversial subjects is not only irrational, but illogical. Defaulting to a closed-minded point of view because it is comforting to do so limits one’s growth as a person. Considering points of view that conflict with your own personal perspectives is not only mature, but necessary to building and maintaining relationships with people.

Only listening to like-minded people is tantamount to putting a lion in a cage for the rest of its life. The lion eventually becomes either ruthlessly violent when cornered or passively conformist. Neither condition is conducive to growth or productivity for the lion. It does not work very well with people either…

The hallmark of an educated and informed mind is the ability to consider and entertain thoughts, ideas, and perspectives that you do not necessarily accept.

For many years, I participated in an online forum that is heavily conservative/right-wing. While I am not a liberal, I am also not a conservative. I often endured insults and ad hominem attacks when debating subjects there, but a funny thing happened along the way…

I learned WHY some conservatives think the way they do. I learned that their perspectives are not entirely wrong. I admired the way many of them defended their opinions. Participating in that forum also taught me a lot about myself and how to moderate my own opinions.

In short, that forum taught me to be pragmatic when it came to discussing politics, religion, and controversial subjects. Listening to people with whom you do not agree teaches you a lot about yourself and enables you to develop a rational perspective on things.

That forum taught me to be a buoy in a sea of discontent.

I hope the people who visit and read my blog find this place to be their buoy in a sea of discontent.

-The Rational Ram

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