April 29, 2007

Reason

Why does man exist? What was the reason behind his birth? Is there a reason what he is, what he wants to be, and what he is to become? Is there a reason?

If there is one thing that I have seen in the last year, it is this. Reason is supreme. I can say this with an amount of certainty. I hope that by the end of this post, I shall be able to say why.

A strange thought occurred to me today. Which would I take if I were given the choice between honesty, truth, reason, knowledge, and emotion? Without a moment of thought, I knew the answer. It is reason.

I shall begin with what is reason. Reason is cause. Reason is effect. Reason is like the root of a tree hidden from sight. Reason is the leaves that we see.

The dictionary gave me the meanings when I asked. There are six of them:
• A rational motive for a belief or action
• An explanation for the cause of some phenomenon
• The capacity for rational thought or inference or discrimination
• The state of having good sense and sound judgment
• A justification for something existing or happening
• A fact that logically justifies some premise or conclusion

I will go back to truth, emotion, honesty, knowledge, and reason.

If asked to order the above in the increasing order of importance I would have emotion, honesty, truth, knowledge and then finally reason.

Emotion is the human reaction to any given situation. This act requires the least thought. It is based on previous experiences, desires, and needs. There is irrationality when it comes to emotion. I need not elaborate on this; everyone has been in acceptance for centuries that to act on emotion is foolishness.

Honesty is, well being honest. It is saying what one perceives to be the truth at all points in time, it is making sure that one does not defraud anyone; one does not commit a crime, is free from any thoughts of doing the above, and is without pretensions. How important is this? The reason that I do not rate this as important is because it is derived from others. It does not have any importance of its own. One knows that one commits a crime when one knows what the laws that he/she is governed by are. One knows that one is speaking the truth when one knows what true and false is. One knows what honesty is only by knowing what dishonesty is and taking care not to follow that. How can something that does not have any meaning of its own be important?

This brings us to truth. Truth is fact verified. It is conformity to reality and actuality. Logically, one would think how does one know what is real and what is not? How does one know what is reality and what is a mirage? How can one differentiate between what is actual and what is not? The answer is from three steps. Step one – know the fact. Step two – know the premise against which it has to be verified. Step three – know the process of verification. When all these three are applied together, we get what is truth and what is not. This means that truth itself is derived from something else. It is knowledge.

Knowledge is the result of three things, perception, learning, and reasoning. I am not born with knowledge. I gain it by asking questions. I gain it by experimenting and trying to find out what caused the result of that experiment. I know because I learn, I know because I perceive and I know because I reason. This makes reasoning above knowledge.

Learning and perception, I have not touched. The reason being learning is a direct result of reasoning. I learn when I reason why, how, when, where, and what. Perception is too vague and differs from person to person.

That leaves reason. Reason is the cause. When one thinks about why something happens, one shall always conclude, everything happens because of a reason. Everything happens for a reason. When one thinks about what happened, we are reasoning what happened.

Reason is the effect. When one does something, the result is the reason that someone did the thing in the first place. One likes to think that everything they do has a well thought reason behind it.

Reason is knowledge,
I ask, so I learn.
Reason is truth,
I know, I asked, I learnt.
Reason is honesty,
I check, I knew, I asked, I learnt.
Reason is emotion,
I feel, I know why, I asked how.
Reason is reason,
I am because I reason.

7 comments:

Suchitra said...

Excellent post. Will get back to you with comments.

Lazy Lavender said...

Superb! Could almost agree wholly with you!

Nivi said...

what happens when reason does not give us a perfect logical or say a sound answer. Like the naswers to the first questions you raised. None of have the answers so we just believe there is a reason. Isnt that closely related to belief and hence perception!!!

Sense in non-sense Aditya said...

@Nivi
If the reason of a person does not answer the questions that are posed, then it is not the fault of the reason. Rather it is the fault of the person who has that reason.
_When reason fails, it is not failure of reason, but then the failure of the person weilding the reason_

Mercury said...

It would be unreasonable of me to disagree with you. But unreasonable things have changed the world. It is good to trust reason, but better to trust better reasons. Reasons differ from person to person. So is reason supreme? Sometime different lines of reasoning exists.
Take a game of cards, no matter how reasonable one plays it depends on your luck too. Acknowledging reason is ok but what about unreasonable things that have to be done, comprimises that have to made for the sake of others.
Considering everything as reason and all actions are done through correct reasoning is unreasonable.

Sense in non-sense Aditya said...

@Mercury
Unreasonable acts?
Give me one act, my dear friend, that is unreasonable, to you that you have to do. If there is such an act, where is your integrity? Where is that ego of yours, the part of you that makes a claim that you are the most important person in the world to yourself?
Answer this and I will explain the reason behind Reason being Supreme

Aditya Rajaraman said...

@Mercury
Cards is not luck. It is probabilitu