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I was in my lecture today and the topic of rationality came up.

'Put your hand up if you think you are rational.' The lecturer asked. I was badly hungover this morning so my and shot up and then I realised I was the only one to put my hand up in the whole room.

I took it upon myself to explain, as I realised then what my lecturer had been trying to get at - that we are all irrational. I said that obviously I am irrational as are all human beings, however I put my hand up as if you compared me to the average person, I am more rational than them.

She understood what I meant and said 'Ahh right I see yes, so for example you may have chosen this university in a rational way, perhaps by weighing up pros and cons or various other methods?'

Then I realised that actually although I think rationally, I rarely act it, and had to answer back with the truth 'Err no actually, I came here by fluke, it was a last minute decision.'

Which just made me look stupid infront of her and my class mates. It really annoyed me. I don't like to look stupid.


Then something else happened. After we had talked about the topic of rationality for about 10 minutes, one of my closest friends who was sat next to me whispered:
'She keeps talking about it but I don't understand what it means.'
'What what means?'
'Rationality.'




Firstly, would you have felt a bit embarrased in my situation where I felt I was made a bit of a fool? Or would you have not cared at all?


Secondly, does any one else have any friends who they genuinely like spending time with but intellectually are not on the same level?
Apart from 2 close friends I have who are INFP and INTP, I am failing to understand what we even talk about and why I enjoy their company.

They talk about things that don't interest me very much, and small talk is commonplace, however it seems that I must not mind this because it makes me feel like I fit in.
 

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Ah. My foot and my mouth. Regular acquaintances.

The hypothesis, in my honest opinion, was a bit daft, and far too vague. A rational decision based on the head, is different from someone's rational decision based on the heart. Does that make us all irrational, or rational according to our given circumstances?

If it helps, I would have put my hand up too. And probably blagged it afterwards. Sounds like you were the only INTP in the room.

I don't have many rl friends, but a friendship, if you can call it that, between an ESTJ and ESFP at work has always deeply puzzled me, as they are not on the same wavelength at all.
 
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1) I would have felt embarrassed. For me, the embarrassment in your situation would come from the fact that I didn't think things through enough to put up a solid argument, thus in some ways exposing my internal thinking process which I try to protect from the outside world (normally, I'm guessing your guard would have been up, but b/c you were hungover, you jumped the gun).

To some people, not only do I come of as aloof (which, I mean I am), but because of this I can, at times, come off looking like I'm not that intelligent. So this would be a case where I would be publicly exposed and my ego bruised. My face would be red.

2) Absolutely. A major interest for me is philosophical, psychological, and spiritual topics. Yet, I don't have these discussions with 99% of my friends, nor do I think they are capable of matching my intellect on the subject. Most of my friends I have made through life are those that get my humor and that I find hilarious as well. There's not enough funny people in the world and I want to be friends with the ones I do find.
 

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I would have been embarrassed as hell, but I have most definitely been in worse scenes :happy: That is like a 9w1 nightmare. But I would just tell myself f-em if they can't take a joke, then likely smile about it later.

About non-NT friends, I think all humans have a need to be social on some level, and people that are not NTs can show you many things within the human experience. I value all of my friends. I usually nod and smile and say things along the lines of - did you ever look at it from this angle? My non-NT friends have allowed me to see things, and gain an understanding on things I would have never understood on my own. They have taken me to events varying from art museums and speakeasy s to cliff diving and demolition derbies.
 

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I would have been embarrassed as well. I value rationality and endeavor to be as rational as I can. (some--perhaps many--people don't seem to.) but I wouldn't have a rational argument for why I think I am rational. I suppose I think of being rational as an impossible ideal, so I would not be inclined to say "I am rational". but in the loose sense of being a more rational type in contrast to being a go-with-your-gut/follow-your-heart type, I would say I am more the rational type.
 

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The hypothesis, in my honest opinion, was a bit daft, and far too vague.
i agree! saying we are all irrational just sounds wrong to me. if i were to do one thing without first thinking about it, does that make me an irrational person on the whole? i would be happier with the statement: we are all both rational and irrational people.
 

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I hate these ideas like "we are all irrational". It's one of those topics that you can always prove because it is, on purpose, a vague statement. The teacher asks that question for just one reason. She has thought about it and the person putting the hand up, most likely not. So she can kill any argument you come up with. And then it looks like she's right. What ever nonsense she comes up with after that, automatically has a lot of credibility.

This is a very basic sales technique. It creates authority and to not look stupid, people will decide to buy something. (in this case the lesson.)

So she made you look stupid, but try to understand why she did this and you'll have less respect for her already which should help you not feeling stupid.

And she is wrong by the way. Rationality exits and the fact is, that most people are rational. Behaviour may seem irrational, but that's because not all input factors are known by others, or even yourself.

From the dictionary:
Irrational: Not in accordance with reason.

Reason: normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.

Sanity: the state of being sane;

sane: free from mental derangement;


According to your teacher, everybody is insane.

Now if she would have came up with that statement and said: 'Put your hand up if you think you are sane".

All hands would have gone up. Which is interesting because "we´re all irrational" means the exact same thing as "We´re all insane".
 

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^ To Peter, the self can not rightly know if it is sane or not, and the mark of insanity is often not knowing if one is in fact insane. So how can anyone be rational?

I also ask you: by what step in reasoning does someone form the belief that fire will burn them? Is it not that fire has simply always burnt that person? If pencils always fell up would we not believe them to always fall up just in the same sense we believe fire burns, as the result of the conditioning of experience and nothing more? How is that rational? Given a lab and a human to experiment on you could make that person believe all sorts of f-ed up things, and that person would only be considered irrational from an outsiders view point when taken out of the lab and shown to the real world. Rationality is only as existent as opinions which are only a peculiarity of dendrite connections within the minds of human animal things, and rationality is as weak and fleeting as we are.
 

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From the dictionary:
Irrational: Not in accordance with reason.

Reason: normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.

Sanity: the state of being sane;

sane: free from mental derangement;


According to your teacher, everybody is insane.

Now if she would have came up with that statement and said: 'Put your hand up if you think you are sane".

All hands would have gone up. Which is interesting because "we´re all irrational" means the exact same thing as "We´re all insane".
Nah, dude. Irrationality does not necessarily mean insane. Look at the ancient Egyptians. Their religion was pre-rational (and I guess you can also say irrational, then) but they were able to accomplish architectural feats that we still can't figure out today. It's easy to write off someone or something you can't understand rationally as insane, but much more difficult to understand and more rewarding in the end if you seek to come to that understanding.
 

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Only the INTPs could turn this into a definition debate.

Any minute now, someone's gonna ask..."What was the question again?":crazy:
 

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1. I would have been pretty pissed and would've felt super embarrassed (brooding about it months after it happened) if I was actually shown to be illogical. I'm sensitive in social situations and do not like being perceived as silly, stupid, foolish, or incompetent. I can remember countless times in high school where I was made to look incapable or not entirely on my A game and I'd usually brood brood and do more brooding, trying to wipe the memory of how it felt to be in those horrible terrifying situations altogether. I personally just don't take experiences like that well.

2. I've NEVER met a person in real life whom I could consider my 'equal.' Surely, I've met some interesting and fairly intelligent individuals, but no one I could really relate to on a deep intellectual level. Seriously, who DOESN'T know what 'rational' means? This is why I often treat people a little more condescendingly than I should. I don't know if they are truly intelligent or not, or to what extent they are aware of what I am, because I've been around idiots my whole life. I usually ask people, "You 'do' know what subjective/objective means, right?" Some people are annoyed by this; some understand why I feel compelled to ask. But hey... I can't help it if most people I encounter are babbling idiots.

Anyway, I personally applaud you for having the courage, the bravery, and the damn balls to take a stand and to openly admit that you consider yourself fairly damn rational. I can absolutely admire that kind of personal honesty and self-awareness. Not all people are rational. Some are more rational than others; others are less rational than some. Thus, I really don't see why someone would have to use a student to make a point that we are all irrational. To me, it's pretty damn obvious that humans (being animals) are inherently irrational at their core. But it doesn't mean some people aren't more rational than the majority of people on the planet.

I personally honestly called myself 'rational' in a discussion once and an entire forum went ape-shit about it, as if I had just screamed "people who believe in God are babbling morons," or "Fat people are disgusting" or "black people are ugly." No one could understand why it makes sense to call yourself rational. But having lived for 23 years, I've been around enough drooling monkeys to know that I'm someone often inclined to resort to thinking before I take actions. I actually QUESTION THINGS from a rational perspective. Surely, I'm an animal and won't be entirely rational. I'm no robot or machine. But I honestly feel that I tend to think before making most of my decisions, whereas others seem entirely meandering and I can't see how they make it from day to day, other than relying on a social system that can accommodate any babbling monkey who passively accepts to work 9 hours out of the day for a living.

So yeah, I applaud you. Don't feel bad. I would've raised my hand, too. And I would've probably explained why it's not that big a deal that all humans are irrational, since they are irrational in degrees. And there is nothing wrong with feeling rational in a relative sense. So your professor can suck a giant dick, imo.
 

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Then it's easy.

"Are you rational?"

The dictionary is very clear on it.

Rational: "endowed with the faculty of reason: rational beings."

This teacher can prove 1 irrational decision and all the sudden you´re irriational? That's like saying somebody is incapable of walking after it's been proven that he has fallen once.

Most people are rational beings. They are endowed with the faculty of reason.
 

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I hate these ideas like "we are all irrational". It's one of those topics that you can always prove because it is, on purpose, a vague statement. The teacher asks that question for just one reason. She has thought about it and the person putting the hand up, most likely not. So she can kill any argument you come up with. And then it looks like she's right. What ever nonsense she comes up with after that, automatically has a lot of credibility.
Indeed, it is quite annoying when professors use students to make a point, practically embarrassing them in front of the entire class. It's happened to me a few times. It reminds me of the Socratic Method. You question someone's level of knowledge to point out to them how ignorant they are. I don't really see the constructive point of this method of teaching, personally. I would much prefer that students actively feel comfortable with their own level of knowledge, while simply encouraging them to question their preconceived notions (if indeed a conflict should arise between what they currently thought and what they are currently learning. There really is no need to thrust one's awareness upon others like that. Teaching should be a positive experience, not one where an instructor is beating their wisdom upon the heads of their students. It's harsh and unnecessary. And I've seen countless instructors resort to that petty style of education.

This is a very basic sales technique. It creates authority and to not look stupid, people will decide to buy something. (in this case the lesson.)
Indeed. I've come across many people who naturally resort to these tactics, who instead of actually arguing honestly and logically, appeal to an appearance of authority and logical superiority. It's quite annoying and frustrating to engage people like that. I knew an INTJ who did it all the time.

So she made you look stupid, but try to understand why she did this and you'll have less respect for her already which should help you not feeling stupid.
Agreed. It was a very petty thing to do, and when you realize that the people making you feel insecure and unsettled are really not what they appear to be, it gives you less reason to continue to feel that way.

And she is wrong by the way. Rationality exits and the fact is, that most people are rational. Behaviour may seem irrational, but that's because not all input factors are known by others, or even yourself.

From the dictionary:
Irrational: Not in accordance with reason.

Reason: normal or sound powers of mind; sanity.

Sanity: the state of being sane;

sane: free from mental derangement;


According to your teacher, everybody is insane.

Now if she would have came up with that statement and said: 'Put your hand up if you think you are sane".

All hands would have gone up. Which is interesting because "we´re all irrational" means the exact same thing as "We´re all insane".
This part of your post is questionable.

I think the instructor meant this form of rational/irrational:

2. irrational - without or deprived of normal mental clarity or sound judgment.
2. having or exercising reason, sound judgment, or good sense: a calm and rational negotiator.

Clearly, whether or not we are actually sane or insane doesn't necessarily have a bearing upon whether or not we employ reason to develop sound judgment or non-sound judgment. An insane person often isn't predisposed to reason correctly (if at all), so they are often by default irrational. Yet, a sane person may exhibit poorly reasoned judgment based on little reasoning whatsoever. I've seen it all the time.

In fact, it is know that we make decisions subconsciously before we are even consciously aware of them, and way before we actually act on these decisions. I've seen a show where an experiment was conducted. There were false employers and potential employees (who were unaware that they were being tested). For some employers, warm cups of coffee or tea were given to drink during the interviews. For others, cool beverages were given. The results were startling. Those employees interviewed by the employers who drunk the warmer beverages were more often hired than those interviewed by the employers who drunk the cooler beverages. This seems to indicate that many subjective factors can affect someone's mood, and in doing so can affect our very decision making (regardless of how conscious we may think we are of them).

So, based on many science shows I've seen (which were based on cutting-edge experiments), it would seem that most humans are indeed irrational, in the sense of not entirely having full control over our judgments and decisions. Yet, it was also stated often that just because all humans are generally irrational, it doesn't mean that there aren't exceptions. Some individuals show extremely high levels of rationality, capable of blocking out the irrational impulses (which would be extremely bright people like engineers, philosophers, scientists, ect.).

I just wanted to point that out.
 

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Then it's easy.

"Are you rational?"

The dictionary is very clear on it.

Rational: "endowed with the faculty of reason: rational beings."

This teacher can prove 1 irrational decision and all the sudden you´re irriational? That's like saying somebody is incapable of walking after it's been proven that he has fallen once.

Most people are rational beings. They are endowed with the faculty of reason.
Nice spotting. I was thinking something similar earlier, but didn't feel like posting it.
Someone cannot be deemed irrational on the basis of having been shown to be irrational 'once.'
Being irrational once doesn't mean you're generally irrational. It's hasty generalization. Jumping to conclusions.

Thus, he could still be generally rational. All she's logically proved is that he's not 100% rational, which is not what she asked, and if she did mean to ask that she should've asked it properly -- rather than being vague and stupid.

Although, I don't think she meant rational as in "having the potential to reason." It's more about actively exercizing reason to make sound judgments. Not all humans actively exercise reason to make sound judgments, so that's crucially important.
 

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Here is a quote from Chinese Proverb:

"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."

I believe the same would apply when you speak up. I would have felt pretty humiliated had I been the one to raise my hand and attempt to answer right up front with what I already know in mind, but the quote above is good reassurance.

It seems like a lot of things you learn (learn meaning a change in behavior) in this society whether it be to mitigate certain habits or learn things not so much instinctual to life really scramble things up in your head. To my mind, nothing is logical because I can say one thing, but then be proven that it is wrong. I can't seem to separate rationality without pairing it with common sense because no matter how hard you try and deal with the words rational and irrational, I'm not sure if there will ever be a consensus on the true definition of rationality.

In many cases rationality is subjective too, like Ti; it is your own understanding. If you find an easier way to live your life out in, for example, the woods than in the city where norms are more likely enforced, you would do it. I suppose another question to bounce back would be about rationality: Is it moving along with what is accepted (I.E. laws) or noticing how you go by making living work, whether they abide by rules or not?

It must depend on your experience and your personality. That is why typology surfaced after all am I right?
 
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