Location of PR’s definition of reason?

 
Burgess Laughlin
 
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Burgess Laughlin
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15 April 2013 13:22
 

My main interest in life is the war between reason and mysticism. I am pro-reason, exclusively.

What does Project Reason mean by “reason”?

Can you point me to a page on this website that defines and further characterizes reason?

Also, to best learn Sam Harris’s view of the nature of reason (and its opposite) what reading would you suggest I do first? Which book or essay?

Thank you.

 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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15 April 2013 17:36
 

I would recommend reading ‘The End Of Faith’ Sam’s definition of reason is prevalent throughout.

 
 
Burgess Laughlin
 
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Burgess Laughlin
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15 April 2013 21:06
 

Robert, thank you. I have ordered End of Faith and its sequel (apparently), Letter to a Christian Nation.

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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15 April 2013 23:35
 

My mind is at war between mysticism and reason, as well.  I solved it by reminding myself that mysticism is faith-based, but it isn’t really something that can be disproven.  It can be viewed skeptically, however, which is how most people on this forum view it.  Not me, though. As Shakespeare said,

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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16 April 2013 00:11
 

Yes, The End of Faith and maybe Letter to a Christian Nation. Then, to get a feel for Sam’s ideas on ‘reason’ and how it relates and is applied to morality, you might like to read The Moral Landscape. But in the end, ‘reason’ is just about thinking rationally. We ask ourselves, What is true? How do we arrive at truth? By considering the evidence available to us. That is ‘reason’.

 
nv
 
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nv
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16 April 2013 00:23
 
Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (Rob) - 15 April 2013 10:11 PM

. . . But in the end, ‘reason’ is just about thinking rationally. We ask ourselves, What is true? How do we arrive at truth? By considering the evidence available to us. That is ‘reason’.

Yes, truth in a statistical sense is of course useful by all means. We can also strive to answer for any given situation to What is a valid conclusion?

 
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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16 April 2013 11:30
 

I do hope you’ve read Evelyn Underhill’s classic book “Mysticism”?  It is quite well-reasoned….... if you accept the initial premise, that is.

Both atheists and theists can be reasonable; they just start with different initial premises.

I shall not let you give up on mysticism.  I intend to whisper heretical thoughts into your ear while you are being seduced into atheism.

This is not because I am virtuous.  I just want ONE OTHER PERSON on this site to think like I do.

 
bardoXV
 
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16 April 2013 11:55
 
saralynn - 16 April 2013 09:30 AM

I do hope you’ve read Evelyn Underhill’s classic book “Mysticism”?  It is quite well-reasoned….... if you accept the initial premise, that is.

Both atheists and theists can be reasonable; they just start with different initial premises.

I shall not let you give up on mysticism.  I intend to whisper heretical thoughts into your ear while you are being seduced into atheism.

This is not because I am virtuous.  I just want ONE OTHER PERSON on this site to think like I do.

I don’t think you are alone, it’s just that some of us don’t advertize our beliefs very much.  I’ve gotten a lot of flack on other sites and “Once bitten, twice shy”.

 
 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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16 April 2013 11:55
 

If you want to know what reasonable yet beautifully written mysticism sounds like you can’t go past the last chapter in Erwin Schrodinger’s What Is Life. He was very into Vedanta and being a scientist, indeed, one of the greatest scientists, he was able to present his mystical ideas in a rational way that sat well with the outcomes of his ‘wave equation’ and it’s implications for the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics. He was an atheist mystic.

 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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16 April 2013 14:24
 
bardoXV - 16 April 2013 09:55 AM
saralynn - 16 April 2013 09:30 AM

I do hope you’ve read Evelyn Underhill’s classic book “Mysticism”?  It is quite well-reasoned….... if you accept the initial premise, that is.

Both atheists and theists can be reasonable; they just start with different initial premises.

I shall not let you give up on mysticism.  I intend to whisper heretical thoughts into your ear while you are being seduced into atheism.

This is not because I am virtuous.  I just want ONE OTHER PERSON on this site to think like I do.

I don’t think you are alone, it’s just that some of us don’t advertize our beliefs very much.  I’ve gotten a lot of flack on other sites and “Once bitten, twice shy”.

Oh, I’ve been chewed to near death on this Forum, but now the response is down to a sigh and a nibble.  They know it is hopeless to argue with me because I end up saying “I have chosen to believe in mystical truths because they don’t strike me as improbable and, moreover, it makes me happier to do so.” 

Actually, I don’t think people get upset unless you insist it is a fact and not a matter of faith.  As I said, I don’t think it is an irrational faith, but, it is still unsupportable in a technical sense.

 
bardoXV
 
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16 April 2013 14:49
 
saralynn - 16 April 2013 12:24 PM

Oh, I’ve been chewed to near death on this Forum, but now the response is down to a sigh and a nibble.  They know it is hopeless to argue with me because I end up saying “I have chosen to believe in mystical truths because they don’t strike me as improbable and, moreover, it makes me happier to do so.” 

Actually, I don’t think people get upset unless you insist it is a fact and not a matter of faith.  As I said, I don’t think it is an irrational faith, but, it is still unsupportable in a technical sense.

This makes me think of Peacegirl / Halo and her thread, and I do not believe you are anything like her, but she insistes that her beliefs are facts, and that really rubs some people the wrong way.  And she claims that professing her beliefs as facts gives her ‘greater satisfaction’ (makes her happy).

 
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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16 April 2013 18:38
 
bardoXV - 16 April 2013 12:49 PM
saralynn - 16 April 2013 12:24 PM

Oh, I’ve been chewed to near death on this Forum, but now the response is down to a sigh and a nibble.  They know it is hopeless to argue with me because I end up saying “I have chosen to believe in mystical truths because they don’t strike me as improbable and, moreover, it makes me happier to do so.” 

Actually, I don’t think people get upset unless you insist it is a fact and not a matter of faith.  As I said, I don’t think it is an irrational faith, but, it is still unsupportable in a technical sense.

This makes me think of Peacegirl / Halo and her thread, and I do not believe you are anything like her, but she insistes that her beliefs are facts, and that really rubs some people the wrong way.  And she claims that professing her beliefs as facts gives her ‘greater satisfaction’ (makes her happy).

Well, I never suggest my beliefs are facts.  They are beliefs that I would like to be facts.  I don’t “grit my teeth and believe”, I just allow my brain the joy of roaming around in a world of possibilities, one possibility being that the mystics were truly in touch with something real. This kind of “faith” is anything but solid.  It fades away and returns 100 times a day.  I’ve learned that if you just let thoughts be and not try to grasp them, they eventually float into some kind of new understanding.

 
bardoXV
 
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bardoXV
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16 April 2013 18:52
 
saralynn - 16 April 2013 04:38 PM

  I’ve learned that if you just let thoughts be and not try to grasp them, they eventually float into some kind of new understanding.

That’s one form of meditation.

 
 
saralynn
 
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saralynn
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16 April 2013 19:39
 
bardoXV - 16 April 2013 04:52 PM
saralynn - 16 April 2013 04:38 PM

  I’ve learned that if you just let thoughts be and not try to grasp them, they eventually float into some kind of new understanding.

That’s one form of meditation.

I suppose, except I don’t spend continuous time thinking about mysticism.  Thoughts sort of pop into my brain throughout the day.  For instance, I went to the ear doctor today and sat and stared at a diagram of the ear for about a half hour.  This made me think about evolution, which led to the question “Are we accidents of genetic mutations or is there a point to human development.?”  Then I answered myself.  “No way of knowing, is there?  If the mystics are right, then there may be a direction to evolution.  Cool.  I like that thought.”