Subject: Re: A Philosophical Diversion
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/10/13
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (David Steuber "The Interloper")
| If you have the time, peruse some of the advocacy groups.
| is a good one.  You will find lots of
| fanaticism and flame wars.

  I don't need any more _examples_ of apparent or obvious irrationality.
  it is because of what I have seen already that I wonder why some people
  engage in it and still think they are rational and want others to believe
  that they are.  as long as you brand it as "religious" or "fanaticism" or
  other such labels that communicate "there is nothing that can or should
  be understood here", you will obviously never understand them, either.

  the other issue that I'm interested in, in this regard, is why certain
  cultural "pockets" forbid emotive responses in what they want to label
  "rational behavior".  such must be the most repressive and destructive
  cultures around: given that people _are_ emotional beings, too, there's
  no wonder so many feel free to _become_ irrational if they feel strongly
  about something, even if they arrived at it rationally.

  my point is simply that there is something to be understood from people
  who engage in "advocacy" and the like.  I'm not quite sure what, but I
  have long since dismissed the arrogant idea that there is _nothing_ to
  learn from them.  ironically, all the evidence suggests that those who
  refuse to listen are the _least_ rational, because they don't even know
  or recognize their _own_ emotive responses, and least of all do they
  realize that the conclusion that somebody is "rational" is fundamentally
  an emotive response, decided long before you actually hear what they say.

  (of course, I'm not talking about the mentally ill -- they might even
  appear rational from an adaptation and survival instinct perspective.)