What’s rational? What’s so ir-rational?

Man, who is considered as rational, has been using his reasoning in a wrong and perverted way

Rajyogi Brahmakumar Nikunj jiUpdated: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 12:48 AM IST
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The tendency to rationalise the irrational has led to small and individual defects taking the form of global problems. | VECTORSTOCK

One of the reasons why mankind has been unable to solve many national and international problems is that man, who is considered as rational, has been using his reasoning in a wrong and perverted way. He has either been rationally explaining the defects of his personality and flaws of his character as his sterling virtues, or he has been using reason wrongly to justify his uncivilised behaviour as necessary for the well-being of his community or the security of his country. This tendency to rationalise the irrational has led to small and individual defects taking the form of global problems. For example, man's libidinous tendencies, which were earlier justified on biological or psychological grounds, have now resulted in the grave danger caused by over-population which is not less than that caused by nuclear weapons.

Yet man does not try to have self-restraint, self-control or continence. Instead, he tries to rationalise his irrational and errant behaviour since that suits his perverted instincts and emotions, and gives him short-lived pleasure even though it is great strain upon his stamina and moral health. The same can be said of his tendencies of aggression and greed. Hence there is an urgent need to put man's rational faculty on the right track and, thereby, to enable him to put an end to his irrational, irresponsible and injurious behaviour in order to save mankind from a number of global upheavals.

There was a time when defects in man's personality or faults in his character were considered as of individual concern. It was thought that the society had no cause to bother about an individual's habits, as it was believed that these can, at the most, be of concern to one's family-members of a few individuals who directly interact with that man. But now, with our better understanding, we know that defects in man's personality are of concern not only to that individual but to the whole society. Smoking, for example, is not only injurious to the health of the man who smokes but it is injurious to others also who do not smoke but are exposed to tobacco smoke. The whole society has thus to suffer because of these habits of the individuals. Evidently, the way to solve these problems now lies in the inner transformation of the individual but this is not possible unless man first gives up the habit of rationalising his irrational behaviour and justifying his bad habits of perverted instincts by employing faulty reasoning.

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