Reason: Our Guiding Force (Part 1)

Aug 16, 2011 by

In my article “On Absolute Monarchies,” I took the liberty of assuming Reason to be our Guiding Force.  I feel compelled, before any more analysis of political structures is undertaken, to prove this to be true.  Thus, let me assess what our Guiding Force should be.

Now, of the forces that push us, there is Passion, Instinct, Reason, Society, Individuals whom we respect, and Tradition.  Now, let me briefly define what each of these forces is.  First, Passion is the innate feeling of want that we feel toward a certain action or thing.  This want is derivative from the internal forces of our subconscious.  By Instinct I mean the natural will to survive that we all feel.  The natural motivations to fear death, pain, etc.  Reason refers to the logical part of our brain.  There is a lot more to logic then mere numbers, it is the part of our brain that weighs pros and cons, thinks ahead, questions itself, and things of that nature.  Society is the culture of the world around us that influences us to conform.  Individuals we respect are the people whom we know of, our role models, whom we want to be like.  And, finally, tradition is what you have always done.

Now, while Society, Individuals we respect, and Tradition are three different things, I think it is fair to label them Outside Forces.  Outside Forces are forces which come from somewhere other than your present, decision making self.  The only one of the three that is borderline is Tradition, because of how we defined it.  But Tradition refers to your past self which, to your present self, is more an Outside Force.  Any part of it that is internal, is either Passion or Instinct.  Now, upon reflection of Outside Forces, we see two major flaws in using it as our guide.

The first flaw is that with Outside Forces, there is no Properly Basic Belief.  This Epistemological term refers to beliefs which need nothing else to survive.  Let us look at our chain of guidance.  If we assume that Outside Forces are the best guides, then is it not true that the source of our guidance, whatever it may be, must have an Outside Force guiding IT.  And IT’s outside force has another one.  And so on for eternity.  Thus, there is nowhere for guidance to be based.  With nowhere to be based, guidance cannot exist.

Now, even if we assume that such a chain can exist, an infinite regress if you will, there comes a second flaw.  How is it you trust something Outside of yourself?  Surely the answer is not an Outside Force led you to believe in an Outside Force.  This is circular and leaves us with the same problem.  This leaves us with only Internal Forces to guide us to trust these Outside Forces.  Thus, an Outside Force cannot be our Guiding Force.

Thus, our Guiding Force must be located within ourselves somewhere.  As is proven here it cannot be an Outside Force.

Next I shall analyze the forces of Passion, Reason, and Instinct.

5 Comments

  1. Heather

    If we assume that Outside Forces are the best guides, why do we need to assume that that outside force needs an outside force to guide it? One would think that just being outside of yourself would just be enough, or does it have to be outside of anything?

  2. Gerber

    If we assume a guide from an outside force, then we are assuming one of three things. Either it is another person/group of people, a sign, or God. If it is another person/group of people then the question is where do THEY get their guidance, for it does not make sense for my guidance to be the only one that SHOULD come from the outside. If it is a sign that is man made, then the sign is subject to a person who suffers the same problem. If the sign is natural, it either came from God or is random. If it is Random, then it is not guidance, but mere chance. If it is God, we must still have some deciding factor within to say to trust God. That force must be internal for the decision to trust God cannot be God’s, else we would be mindless zombies.

  3. Lot

    You mention a present, decision-making self. How do you define this term?

  4. Lot

    Also, in the second Part can you please say what these internal forces of the subconscious are? Thank you.

  5. Gerber

    By present, decision-making self, I define this as a person who uses either Reason, Instinct, or Passion (Forces which come from you mind at the PRESENT moment). I say present self as opposed to looking at your past self’s actions. This looking back is different then instinct because instinct is what you presently FEEL you should do right now versus doing what you remember doing in the past.

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