Regarding rationality and truth...

QuasarX
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Regarding rationality and truth...

Well, I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of different ideas out there about what constitutes rational thinking, and I haven't yet nailed down a definition I'm satisfied with. I welcome any and all input on the matter, but right now I'm most curious about this question: In your opinion, if someone were to think with perfect rationality, is there any imaginable scenario in which that person would arrive at a false belief?


V1per41
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I would define a rational

I would define a rational thinker as someone who comes to conclusions based on proper logic while using all of the evidence known to that person at that time.  Also, someone who will change their mind when presented with good evidence that points in a direction other than their current belief. 

Not exactly a perfect definition but at least it's a start.

 I would also say that there is an imaginable scenario in which such a person could arrive at a false belief.  New evidence is always comming in for everything.  It would be possible for current evidence to point towards conclusion A when in fact conclusion B is the truth.  With all evidence pointing at A the rational thinker would agree with A which would be a false belief.

However the beauty of science is that it is self correcting and always changing to reflect new evidence, so when further evidence comes forth for conclusion B, the rational thinker will gladly change their position. 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


Tanath
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QuasarX wrote:Well, I think

QuasarX wrote:

Well, I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of different ideas out there about what constitutes rational thinking, and I haven't yet nailed down a definition I'm satisfied with. I welcome any and all input on the matter, but right now I'm most curious about this question: In your opinion, if someone were to think with perfect rationality, is there any imaginable scenario in which that person would arrive at a false belief?

Logic is the means of correct reasoning. We can debate what is logical, but by definition if your reasoning is logical, then your conclusion is necessarily true. If all your thinking were logical then you wouldn't arrive at a false belief. The problem is, even if your reasoning is logically valid, the truth of the conclusion depends on the truth of the premises, so one must still check the premises. Basically you have to consider that a conclusion is true if the assumptions are true, and there are always premises/assumptions.

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Faith is not a virtue.