Is Reason Always Right?

Several years ago I committed to myself to try to trust my intuition more and (perhaps with a bit of bias) I would say that commitment has served me well. This essay from The Guardian explores the topic a bit more.

Albert Camus said that the body is as good a judge as the mind. We know what he means. When we meet someone for the first time the whole of us responds to that person. Later the mind may reflect on the encounter and think that they were likeable, or not, but that first meeting will be an important element in whether we want to follow up the relationship or not. Yet, though there is a great truth in what Camus said, I believe that in the end the mind must be the final judge. The body, with its instinctual response, can orientate the mind in a particular direction or nudge it in another one if it feels it is going wrong, but in the end the mind must decide, using rational criteria.

The same point can be made in relation to what is called conscience. Some people think of conscience as an inner voice making them feel guilty, or telling them what to do. But conscience, as Thomas Aquinas said, is the mind making moral judgements. It is a matter of the mind, not any inner voice. In short it is the considered judgment we make when we weigh up all the pros and cons in the light of our values and overall perspective on life. This is not to say that guilty feelings, or intuitions are unimportant. They are. Sometimes they can stop the mind going down a wrong track altogether. When we make a rational decision it is very good to take into account the totality of what we are feeling. But in the end we must try to think as rationally as possible.

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *