It is quite interesting to listen to people talk about the reasoning power of others. It is always about others and not about our reasoning power. Recently somebody was saying, “People just do not use their reasoning power in their beliefs. They blindly believe. The whole world may see something wrong in that source of belief, but the believers do not see it. They are either brainwashed by others, or they brainwash themselves. They lose their power of thinking.”
This made me think about the word ‘reason’. It is a fascinating word. I checked in the dictionary.It means, ‘a rational motive for a belief or action’ and it also means, ‘the capacity for rational thought, inference and discrimination’. It is said that only human beings among all animals have the capacity to reason. But, many a time looking at the violence happening all around the world the question keeps coming to mind if we do really have the capacity to reason? I read somewhere, “War begins not when blood is shed but when anger becomes stronger than reason, when lust for revenge and power of self grows stronger than the desire for peace. It is when reason is lost everything is lost.” This seems so true these days.
What exactly is reason? Can it be defined in an absolute way? When people believe something or someone with their body and soul do they use their reason? In such circumstances it is impossible to be objective. Nothing or nobody is perfect, there are plus and minus points. People see what they want to see, the plus or the minus, according to their way of thinking. It is others who lament the lack of reason. Such people may not be using reason in their own dealings with others; the chain continues. Everyone believes firmly that their actions are the result of careful reasoning. But the reasoning of one is so different from the reasoning of another. Each person is so different from the other, then how can reasoning be the same for everyone? Of course, it is different in the case of scientific studies. I suppose people have to be as objective as possible. I do not know.
Further, as mentioned above, ‘reason’ means a rational motive for a belief or action. So much that is spontaneous would be lost if there was a reason behind everything. I remember reading in one of Anne of the Green Gables books, in such a case we would be just breathing, not living. So true. Long ago were the days when I used to read one book at a time. After starting a book, if I liked the beginning of the story, I had to finish it. But some time along the way I started reading two or three books, one in the morning, one in the evening or something like that. There was no fixed timetable. :)) There was no reason behind this. It just happened. It is fun to live in this world and in two or three other worlds at the same time.
Then there are those religious beliefs which many say have no scientific reason behind them. They believe they were made just to control people. In many ways they do control people. But for many, such beliefs and that faith in a higher power is a source of strength to face the ups and downs in life. That is a reason in itself and I believe there is no need for any other reason or for any reason for that matter. In this so called reasoning, the heart plays a very important role. We usually ‘believe’ with our heart though many think that their beliefs are based on the mind and on reason. Yes, we give many reasons to prove to ourselves that we are correct. That is human nature. It has been rightly said by someone, “People don’t always see what their eyes tell them is there. They see what they have made up their minds to see.”
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of… We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.” – Blaise Pascal