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Discussion on Rationalism and the Age of Reason

Yuri_PrimeYuri_Prime god-playing megalomaniac PExer
Rationalism is the belief that advocates reason to be the basis of our activities, decisions and acquiring truth. Some of the known advocates of rationalism are Descartes, Leibnitz and Spinoza.

Age of Reason, also known as Enlightenment or Age of Rationalism is the period when most philosophers stress the use of reason in acquiring knowledge. It began in 1600's and lasted until 1700's. The rationalists believe that humans have rational will, which enables them to make and carry out plans, unlike animals that relies heavily on their emotions and instincts. When the animal is scared, it runs. When angry it fights. Humans however are capable of thinking of the best course of action for any situation regardless what they feel, be it fear, anger, etc. Reason was also contrasted with ignorance, superstitions and unquestioned acceptance of authority, that domintes the Medieval Europe.

I think there is a need for this country to have a rationalist movement. Most of our fellowmen are still superstitiuous and submissive. These are also factors why our progress is very slow. We need a culture and mindset that is based on reason and science, where thinking is something everyone should do.

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Comments

  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    1. Rationalism cant explain many things. Many of us here at the ROT are rational. However, at the end of the day we are still arguing the meta-philosophy and meta-beliefs which no explanation or rationality can explain.

    2. and if we somehow find a way to explain them, we are still using language; and that alone we cant explain.

    3. I am not advocating a return to mysticism. But sometimes in 'debates' that are metaphysical in nature, we need to be subjective on our ideas. we might bubble on it. And try to open up its mystification; but at the end of the day, we are playing with language.. and beliefs of this kind are based on mystifications.

    4. Speaking of mystification, myths are based on it. since we cant unite our rational thoughts, we cant stop bickering about everything. Conflicts are good for social progress, but as long as there is a progression in solving it. However, conflicts can sometimes be dangerous; it takes away the energy of everyone, and we end up divided and as confious as before.

    5. Thus, I suggest that we put rationality on mystification. It seems to be an oxymoron. But if we create a myth of a filipino identity, with its heroes and heroines. With its villians and epics; maybe we can use this universal myth to help unite us.. so that we can concentrate our energy in the progression of our country..

    6. No i am not running for public service. :)
  • bobito_salongabobito_salonga professional bum PExer
    ...of rationalism and reasoning in the philippines: (good topic by the way) :)

    I think there is a need for this country to have a rationalist movement. Most of our fellowmen are still superstitiuous and submissive. These are also factors why our progress is very slow. We need a culture and mindset that is based on reason and science, where thinking is something everyone should do.

    yuri, i personally don't think that the mere presence of this 'rationalist movement' would do as much as one would hope it would. Yes, our fellowmen are still superstitious and submissive but the reason behind that is not their entirely fault, being under the spanish regime for more than 300 years (heck, i don't see us blaming the spaniards). but i do agree with you that thinking is something that everyone should do... :)

    6. No i am not running for public service.

    good one feakster! :cool:
  • AsiaWestAsiaWest Member PExer
    Originally posted by bobito_salonga
    yuri, i personally don't think that the mere presence of this 'rationalist movement' would do as much as one would hope it would. Yes, our fellowmen are still superstitious and submissive but the reason behind that is not their entirely fault, being under the spanish regime for more than 300 years (heck, i don't see us blaming the spaniards). but i do agree with you that thinking is something that everyone should do... :)
    You obviously haven't looked into those posts particularly in the LAFI thread -- it's saturated with statements blaming, or at least insinuating, foreign and colonial influences including those of both the Spaniards and Americans for our societal problems.

    I'm not disputing this to be, at least partially, true. But we, by all intents and purposes, are already a free and democratic country. There is no excuse for perpetuating this hegemony, especially now that we're fully cognizant of their deletory effects.

    I'm not an advocate of extremist forms of [Philosophical] Rationalism, however, I do advocate the need to re-examine our reality in a critical and objective manner putting reason over and above sentimentalism and free ourselves from the unenlightened mindset of those still in the dark clutches of superstition.
  • TessariaTessaria Fan Forum's Finest PExer
    Originally posted by freakster2k1
    6. No i am not running for public service. :)

    :rotflmao:

    That's a good one, Freaks. :D
  • BeansBeans Ubermensch PExer
    nice topic

    I think that since the Spaniards are already dragged into this mess (hehe.. jk), I would like to point out that the only thing that is solidly evident now when compared to that 300 years ago, is our countrymen's faith.

    The Catholic Church and her influence on the majority of the population here has been a great driving force for quite a few beliefs which only has "faith" as it's basis. No.. I am not starting a new topic on His existence.

    If you will recall, the friars back then used to instill fear among the Catholic Filipinos by saying that it is bad luck to do this and that.

    Anyway... since I am not making any sense, don't mind me.
  • Yuri_PrimeYuri_Prime god-playing megalomaniac PExer
    Originally posted by bobito_salonga
    ...of rationalism and reasoning in the philippines: (good topic by the way) :)

    yuri, i personally don't think that the mere presence of this 'rationalist movement' would do as much as one would hope it would. Yes, our fellowmen are still superstitious and submissive but the reason behind that is not their entirely fault, being under the spanish regime for more than 300 years (heck, i don't see us blaming the spaniards). but i do agree with you that thinking is something that everyone should do... :)

    good one feakster! :cool:

    Just as what Asiawest mentioned, we are no longer under Spanish regime. We can no longer blame them for instilling mindset to our fellow citizens. It should be enough for us to know that some mindset installed through culture is no longer working in global arena.

    Medieval Europe for example, before is full of supersititions. When something bad happens, they just pointed anyone accussing him or her of being a witch and burn. People submit to the authorities of priests and landlords without question. However during the Age of Reason, questioning authority as well as thinking in terms of logic and science was encouraged. Many scientists emerge and contribute to the development of the society.

    Yes, a rationalist movement alone cannot do much to improve our society. The movement needs support from the people who will practice this ideology in their everyday life. People who are humans and therefore must use their reasoning as final judge to every decision they made.

    BTW, Science didn't prosper because of rationalists alone. Rationalism worked together with its antithesis, the Empiricism which gives emphasis on experience instead of reason as the best method of obtaining the truth. Rationalism encouraged theoretical science and Mathematics. Empiricism encouraged experiments. Science as we know today will not develop without either theory or experiment.

    I'll answer the other queries later.

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  • bobito_salongabobito_salonga professional bum PExer
    There is no excuse for perpetuating this hegemony, especially now that we're fully cognizant of their deletory effects.

    that will be the day...
  • AsiaWestAsiaWest Member PExer
    Originally posted by bobito_salonga
    that will be the day...
    I probably should've phrased it: "...that we're fully cognizant that their effects have been deletory," which is more in line with the intended message.

    That said however, accounting for such mindset in terms of "blaming the spaniards" will not explain why other countries colonized, including those by Spain, have managed to move forward. Even if you mention the American, or other influences, this will not explain why there are a number of Filipinos succeeding in other countries like the U.S., etc.

    It all boils down to one's own decision to resolve this matter by not allowing our past to haunt us. Each individual is endowed with intelligence and free-will, and that our society is free -- in fact, enjoys more freedom in some respects ( like the media ) than first world countries like the U.S.. Not even the west were free from some form of foreign influence at some point in their history -- remember what Rome did to Europe -- at least the Spaniards did not throw us in a colosseum and feed us to the lions:down:. Yet they've managed to lift themselves out of it.

    All we need is to grow a spine and learn to bear the responsibility of being a democratic country -- it's been over half a century. Blaming foreign external factors are a worn out excuse, and does not constitute sufficient explanation for our social or cultural malaise. Self-reliance and putting reason over past resentments are a liberating and an enlightening practice.
  • Yuri_PrimeYuri_Prime god-playing megalomaniac PExer
    Originally posted by AsiaWest
    All we need is to grow a spine and learn to bear the responsibility of being a democratic country -- it's been over half a century. Blaming foreign external factors are a worn out excuse, and does not constitute sufficient explanation for our social or cultural malaise. Self-reliance and putting reason over past resentments are a liberating and an enlightening practice.

    It seems that the Get Real Philippines discussion has been annexed on this thread. Well I never mind as long as we're still close to the intended discussion.

    I think democracy is being malpracticed here. Many people allow emotions and sentiments to control them and act according to those sentiments. No wonder how come a popular whom almost everyone love but a college drop-out was able to grab the highest power despite of the fact that the there are many people among the other options have better credentials. Various group malpractice democracy to get what they want. Just for example, there is a borderline between expressing your opinion on the issue and threatening politicians that they will not receive sacrament if they didn't follow your wish. But some people fail to do that.

    Sometimes, I wonder if someone wise who is capable of "reason over emotion" thinking and will-power should be given a chance to rule with iron fist. But then again, the concept of dictatorship includes unquestioned authority which defies the principles of the Age of Reason.

    That is why I am suggesting a movement. A propaganda to install rationalist thoughts among the mostly sentimental Filipino people.

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  • AsiaWestAsiaWest Member PExer
    Originally posted by Yuri_Prime
    It seems that the Get Real Philippines discussion has been annexed on this thread. Well I never mind as long as we're still close to the intended discussion.
    Hahaha... It does sound that way doesn't it? I must've just finished posting in that thread before coming here.

    Originally posted by Yuri_Prime
    Sometimes, I wonder if someone wise who is capable of "reason over emotion" thinking and will-power should be given a chance to rule with iron fist. But then again, the concept of dictatorship includes unquestioned authority which defies the principles of the Age of Reason.

    That is why I am suggesting a movement. A propaganda to install rationalist thoughts among the mostly sentimental Filipino people.
    Actually, the British Royal Society -- the first independent society devoted to science was a by-product of this "Age of Reason." They were inspired by Francis Bacon's writings like Novum Organum and The Advancement of Learning -- which laid out a form of government whose constituents are driven by the investigation and mastery of nature instead of men. Science before that, was practiced more as an individual rather than social or societal pursuit.

    As you have aptly characterized, the hallmark of science as we know it today, is its adherence to both empiricism thru [1] experimental method and rationalism thru the use of [2] logic and mathematics:

    [1] Actually, the use of experience or some form of empiricism was already advocated by Aristotelianism -- He taught that nothing comes to the mind without first passing thru the senses. Also, the theory that the mind starts as a tabula rasa ( or blank tablet ) so associated with John Locke was inspired by Aristotelianism. The difference however, between the empiricism of the Aristotelian type and the [early] modern understanding of the term is that the Aristotelian one consists in passive observation and without much appreciation for individual verification of a universal knowledge pertaining to nature, while modern empiricism is active -- thru human manipulation in the form of experimentation. This manner of active observation ( observation thru manipulation ) gained impetus thru the skilled craft and artistic culture of the renaissance from were they were further inspired.

    [2] In regards to the mathematicization of science first thru Mathematical Physics ( The first [modern] science was Physics which was called "Natural Philosophy" at the time -- 17th century and before ), it was Isaac Barrow ( Newton's Mentor ) who suggested putting the [physical] topics such as those of Optics, Mechanics, etc. under Mathematics as so-called mixed sciences -- this is so because of its being physical, i.e. involving sensory, knowledge as regards to its subject matter, but mathematical or quantitative in terms of its chosen method of investigation.


    That said, I can see how, thru the promotion of like scientific institutions or the creation of one, would help further this cause.
  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    you just Kant seem to have a Humean understanding of reason.
  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    haha
  • Yuri_PrimeYuri_Prime god-playing megalomaniac PExer
    Asiawest, I do agree with everything you said but I'm not sure about this one....
    That said, I can see how, thru the promotion of like scientific institutions or the creation of one, would help further this cause.

    It seems to me that promoting rational way of thinking should come first before promoting scientific insititutions. Some societies still think of this world as being governed by various spirits and supernatual forces rather than the laws of nature that can be explained by science. If you go to some rural village that think of diseases as caused by demons, witch craft and other supernatural forces, how are you suppose to explain that diseases are usually caused by tiny living organisms that are too small for naked eye to see. I think it will be easier if we first introduce a new way of thinking to that society, a thinking base on logic and natural explanation to replace their way of thinking based on supernatural. Then after that scientific concepts like the effects of microorganisms and such can be promoted.


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  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    or you could manipulat them into a pseudo-scientific point of view that the microorganisms are the devil's henchmen that are sent to plague manking, and only god's blessing of science can cure it.
  • AsiaWestAsiaWest Member PExer
    Originally posted by Yuri_Prime
    Asiawest, I do agree with everything you said but I'm not sure about this one....

    It seems to me that promoting rational way of thinking should come first before promoting scientific insititutions. Some societies still think of this world as being governed by various spirits and supernatual forces rather than the laws of nature that can be explained by science. If you go to some rural village that think of diseases as caused by demons, witch craft and other supernatural forces, how are you suppose to explain that diseases are usually caused by tiny living organisms that are too small for naked eye to see. I think it will be easier if we first introduce a new way of thinking to that society, a thinking base on logic and natural explanation to replace their way of thinking based on supernatural. Then after that scientific concepts like the effects of microorganisms and such can be promoted.
    Then you must've misunderstood what I was getting at. We are not promoting, but just forming, scientific institutions first as a nucleus of concentrated talents -- just a "few good men" who would help execute the task strategically, systematically, and effectively to the rest of society -- whose sole mission and prime-directive is to eradicate superstition and promote rational thinking. When you reform a society or culture, in order to be heard and be effective, you do it in an organized, manageable and, therefore, divide-and-conquer fashion. Actually, that's what we're trying to do -- promote a rational way of thinking first. We're only using said scientific institutions as a means ( i.e. not as our main end, goal, or purpose ) to gather those few talents who are more likely to think rationally. When you put like minds together they tend to reinforce each other's scientific and rationalistic views, ways of thinking, and perhaps lifestyles.

    Don't mix-up the order of intention and the order of execution -- their orders or sequences are reverse of each other. See, the objective ( which is to eradicate superstitious culture and promote rational and scientific thinking in society at large ) is first in the order of intention, but the means is first in the order of execution -- these scientific institutions merely fall under "means" and are important in that sense.

    This is how the British Royal Society influenced their own culture -- by making publications, pursuing programs that help spread scientific culture to a society clueless at the time of what modern science really is.

    The spread of ideas is like spreading a germ or virus. You start with a nucleus ( a guild or society of like-minds -- our little institution ) with a clear purpose in mind. Then allow this germ to multiply as thru a chain-reaction until it builds to form an effective critical-mass.
  • IscharamoochieIscharamoochie Moderator PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    The spread of ideas is like spreading a germ or virus. You start with a nucleus ( a guild or society of like-minds -- our little institution ) with a clear purpose in mind. Then allow this germ to multiply as thru a chain-reaction until it builds to form an effective critical-mass.
    ah! the critical mass theory. and perhaps this could start right here in the RoT :)
  • Yuri_PrimeYuri_Prime god-playing megalomaniac PExer
    AsiaWest Oh ok!! Kaya nga sabi ko "I'm not sure about this one...". Medjo nalabuan lang ako sa sinabi mo. Anyway that's a good strategy, organizing scientific groups to promote rational way of thinking. The problem I see here however is Scientific soceity tends to focus more on actual science and scientific research rather than refining the mindset of the people. But I think your idea will still work.

    During the Age of Reason in France, there is a group of philosophers called philosophes which promotes the ideals of Rationalism. I'm not sure if this is also the type of organization in your mind, because as its name implies it is more of a philosopher's society than scientists. But some prominent scientists such as Rene Descartes are members of this society.

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  • DoctorN0DoctorN0 Ruler of Antares PExer
    Yuri_Prime, I find your usage of those huge picture banners in eacho of your posts to be too selfish and unreasonable. Are you running in an election or something?

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    We know that already. BOO!
    We know that already. BOO!
    We know that already. BOO!

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    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!
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    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!
  • kikileposkikekikileposkike Bagongsiglonapinay PExer
    Originally posted by DoctorN0
    Yuri_Prime, I find your usage of those huge picture banners in eacho of your posts to be too selfish and unreasonable. Are you running in an election or something?

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    We know that already. BOO!
    We know that already. BOO!
    We know that already. BOO!

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    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!
    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!
    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!
    This HUGE picture is a royal drag. BOO!

    wow galing ng GET MORE SMILIES :toofunny:!

    Sa tingin ko tama kayong lahat. Nasa ugali lang natin yun as Filipinos na namana natin sa mga ninuno at sa mga espanol. Heck talking about the crab-mentality, burning the midnight oil and the bahala na sistem! Chaka tayo kasi ang isa sa mga pinakang proudest race in the whole world (kaya nga kasabihan natin ay "tawanan lang ang iyong problema!") kaya tayo rin ang isa naman sa mga matitinding racists!!!!! ooops bakit nga ba ako napunta sa racisms?
  • freakster2k1freakster2k1 Member PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Yes i agree with ischaramoochie. We can set up a thread. right here in defining a balance between rational thought and the need for a social myth to be the object that will unify each Filipino.

    Although this is only one of the countless attempts, what we have is a history to look back at most struggles and see where they go wrong.

    fellow Rot Pexers, let us start the revolution right here. On ways and procedures on how to educate the mass not only with rational ideas as suggested, not only with filipino history and politics, but also the filipino identity.

    What we can have at the end, a system written by the E-ntellects. A system and protocols that can help Filipino's define themselves in the 21st century and also in the Global World.


    any one? For those disclaimers: i am not high or drunk.

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