Tomorrow morning I am going to present my thesis in front of the examination committee. I rehearsed my presentation several times until now, polishing and modifying here and there in order to be more persuasive. However, I always start with the same key phrase: Humans are emotional beings that justify their choices through rationality.
I was drinking my coffee, one of the many I drink on a normal day and I thought, how many irrational things we do in life and try to justify them later? Well… a lot. Think about your lover, don’t tell me you felt for him because his nose makes a perfect 123-degree angle with his upper lips because I won’t believe you, or you analyze his health record and decided that he is suitable for mating. How about the food you eat? Who needs broccoli when you have cake? It contains all the chocolate you need in one day, #healtychoices. Your current job? Is it what you desire or is it comfortable and you like the emotional security it provides? Should I go on? I know you can find logic in your choices but most of the time you do this backwards which is rationalization not forwards which is making rational and conscious decisions.
However, that is not the main point today. For an agnostic, I am very opinionated when it comes to the worth religion has in one’s personal and cultural identity. For some it might sound paradoxical but I do think cults are useful and studying them is one of my passions, you can tell that if you’ve been following me for some time, but I don’t affiliate myself to any religion or undertake any sacred ancient practice, besides lighting candles, which I found relaxing, such an arsonist.
Many say that religion is wrong because is irrational. I would say they don’t adopt a right perspective in this matter. Whether discussing if religion is rational or irrational thus true or false, I would say it is arational, it can neither be one of them. Rather than seeing cults as knowledge provider, or something immutable, I see them as phenomena. As far as I am concerned, theology and spirituality are the projections of the collective self upon the world. We try to figure out how the universe works, and where is our place by constructing unconsciously the outer reality based on our inner one. You take the inside frame and try to fit what is outside inside of it and thus creating a certain reality. Is a process, an experience, not facts and figures. Religion has a descriptive function and you cannot measure it. As obvious as it is religion is not math so it cannot be true or wrong.
Also, things as ethics (up to a point) and aesthetics are arational, or at least you cannot justify them through logic, but this a subject for another time.
What do you think? Can religion be rational?
I wish you all interesting conversations and good coffee. Warm hugs.