Is the term 'rational person' an oxymoron?
As humans, we are so guided by emotions and desires. Rarely, do the points of emotion and logic intersect.
There are people out there in the world that consider themselves to be totally rational thinkers. When they sit down to contemplate their navels, they focus on the purpose of navel lint. That makes them rational because by thinking of the navel and therefore lint they are making a rational connection.
I think, therefore I am, I think. But if I stop thinking do I then cease to be? Irrational at best.
Rationality is something we can hope to achieve, but I think it can be, and often is, influenced by our emotions unless we thoughtfully avoid that route. Believing in Santa Claus is not rational, but we often encourage our children to believe anyhow.
There are times when we must put emotions on the back burner so to speak, and find rational solutions to our problems or our work, but focus is required and even then we don't always do that the rational way.
Being rational is a lot of work, and I recently retired.
Good Day Gordon G.
I would challenge the assumption upon which your question rests. Why is emotion necessarily "irrational" and why is logic necessarily rational.
Take this recent financial/economic meltdown. We would all say, I think, that people in power (in both politics and business) behaved irrationally, at least in retrospect. After all, "bubbles" in the economy are always irrational, are they not?
We know that many of the exotic derivative instruments used by the financial institutions were created by beings whom one would think among the most "rational" and "logical" of the species -- mathematicians and physicists from M.I.T. (their business of logic and rationality, evidence, is it not?).
But I understand your question, Gordon G. You are talking about the species as a whole, perhaps including the so-called "quants." Still, I am not convinced that emotion is as "emotional" as we sometimes think (in other words, I believe "emotion" has a logic of its own; and I don't think logic is as logical as we sometimes like to think (in other words, I think logic has an "emotion" base, though this emotion is denied).
Anyway, interesting question. I look forward to the other replies you get.
Take it easy, Gordon G.
We are emotional beings who can be rational at times. Imagine walking down a quiet street and having someone sneak up on you and discharge a gun five feet behind you. Is your first thought going to be rational?
Truly the term is oxymoron, since how often do we base our rationalization on dispassionate logic; more often than not, it is based on our desire to protect our image to the world and to ourselves. Thus opposed to dispassionate exploration of truth, it hands over imaginary crutches to a limping soul, something which I call peril of rationalization in my blog by the same name (http://hubpages.com/hub/Perils-of-Rationalization).
People are guided by both emotions and rational thought. And yes, they do intersect; however not everyone is able to govern their emotions and instead their emotions govern them. Desires cloud wisdom.
"People who are more rational don't perceive emotions less, they just regulate better," thus they appear more rational.
You should read How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. It is an interesting read. With the help of neuroscience, social science and psychology, it covers your question in depth.
http://www.amazon.com/How-We-Decide-Jon … amp;sr=8-1
Yes! It is a oxymoron if you happen to be a Vulcan! As the term relates to humans, the term "rational person" is completely relative. To some the term applies to the vast population not residing in padded rooms, and for others the term relates to people that calmly argue or explain their points of view in a logical rather than emotional basis!
LOL! Dude, I think you nailed it. Great Question, and you know the answer!
It's a contradiction.
If it were an oxymoron it would be "Crazy Person" or "Rational decision."
In this particular case, you can't have both, people would just get too confused.
by marinealways24 9 years ago
Life in general, how often do logical decisions prevail compared to emotional illogical decisions?
by aka-dj 6 years ago
So many Atheists and Agnostics refute faith/religion with living by logic and reason. But, to be really honest, it is totally impossible.What do you say?
by marinealways24 8 years ago
I argued with some "intellectuals" on a previous thread when I made the claim that emotions are separated in logic. The "intellectuals" argued that I was trying to redefine the word because it says nothing of logic being emotionless in the dictionaries. The...
by kimberlyslyrics 7 years ago
man made textlucrative chapels and churchespedophile priestsno proofbased on faith?I am not trying to be disrespectful to anyones belief but please explain how you rationalize the truth in religion, any religion?Is it as simple as a need?
by pburger 7 years ago
Is emotion distinct and separate from cognition? Does emotion cloud cognition? Or does emotion inform cognition? And vice versa - does cognition inform our emotions?In short, what is the relation between emotion and cognition?
by mischeviousme 6 years ago
"I am not an atheist. I have a rational fear of God, and yet the common sense to ignore it." The Bible gives us an idea about how to be accountable for our actions, while also giving us a pair of scapegoats. On one end you have Hell (a place we go when we have sinned too much). On the...
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|