A Belief serves as guidepost for a person’s interpretation of his or her interactions with either of others or events that transpire in the world.
Ideally, beliefs ought to reside in realm of rationality, that is, not be subject to the accusation that they are inconsistent with either of principles of Mathematics, or objectively derived evidence in respect of others or events. In truth, however, beliefs have capacity for residing in realm of irrationality.
Beliefs feasibly can reside in realm of irrationality.
Suppose a belief resides in realm of rationality. Regardless, it remains eminently feasible that, simultaneously, such a belief has character of an objectively erroneous rubric for interaction with either of others or events. In this respect, consider man’s prior belief that the earth resided at center of the universe, a belief now shown, both via principles of Mathematics and supporting empirical evidence to be egregiously erroneous — it is not just that the earth is not at center of the universe, but rather that the earth does not even reside at center of its own solar system.
A rational belief can turn out to be an egregiously erroneous rubric for interaction with either of others or events that transpire in the world.
If we are to assess rationality of our beliefs, first we must arrive at a robust understanding or grasp of notion of rationality.
What then does it mean to be rational?
In Philosophy, a rational person does not act inconsistent with his or her beliefs about how exactly a man ought to live, clearly a circular characterization of essence of rationality. In light of highlighted characterization, it is ‘consistency’ that, in context of philosophy, has characterization as rationality.
But, a person can be consistently wrong, as opposed to consistently right, with outcome consistency does not necessarily imply compliance with reality that is objective. How then exactly did the ancient Greek philosophers address ‘circularity’ of philosophers’ characterization of rationality?
In the characterization of philosophy as ‘the search for how exactly man ought to live’, the Greek philosophers asserted that wrongness of current notions as to how man ought to live is not inconsistent with rationality of the search for how exactly man ought to live. In this respect, absent willingness to confront new evidence as to rightness or wrongness of current notions about how exactly man ought to live, philosophy loses its capacity for rationality.
Philosophy’s definition of rationality is robust only if, always, man is willing to confront new evidence as to rightness or wrongness of current notions as to how exactly man ought to live.
Suppose we turn our attention to Science as source of definition of rationality. Science asserts, only that which is infinitely replicable, in the sense that, always, it produces exactly the same outcomes has character of truth, that is, character of objective reality. Rationality then revolves around recognition, and living of life in consonance with objective reality.
For concreteness, we know each of breathing, which requires that the nose and mouth not be prevented from access to air, and presence of oxygen in the air are objective truths. How do we know this? Well, every time that a person’s nose and mouth have been prevented from access to air, in each and every instance, such a person dies. Regardless then of invisibility of oxygen, existence in the air, of what we refer to as ‘oxygen’ was inferred, then was confirmed.
Given all reality that is objective must, of necessity be common to all men, in context of science, all men arrive at exactly the same truths. If we all only live by scientific truth, all truth is common, meaning if you meet one man, you already have encountered all men — for personality does not have character of scientific truth.
Personality lacks character of scientific truth — sometimes a man’s anger works, at other times, it backfires; sometimes a joke falls flat, but yet at other times, has people holding their sides and rolling over with laughter.
If you share my sensibilities, meaning you value your individuality, clearly you do not desire that rationality be subject, in entirety, only to scientifically validated reality. Limitation of science is evident in the objective reality that, whereas science has identified and studied oxygen as important supporting agent for maintenance of life, regardless, science lacks capacity for providing man with oxygen.
Regardless of science’s incapacity for replication of oxygen, day-in, day-out, week-in, week-out, year-in, year out, oxygen maintains exactly the same properties as it has for as long as man has had record of its existence. In the objective reality that man cannot source oxygen — a gas whose quality is infinitely replicable — for himself or herself we arrive at evidence that there exists objectively verifiable (infinitely replicable) truth, which resides outside of domain of science.
While scientific truth always must be respected, the objectively verifiable (infinitely replicable) evidence asserts, rather clearly and unequivocally, that there exists objective reality not encompassed by realm of science.
In Financial Economics, a person is rational ‘if and only if’ he or she acts ethically and morally and is non-satiated with respect to whatever he or she defines as wealth. By this definition, while the government declares selling of cocaine to be illegal, drug dealers who only provide drugs to persons who willingly, consciously and freely desire to consume drugs, who then are willing to deal with consequences of being caught — in the event such an event were to transpire — have characterization as rational agents. Simultaneously, in its desire to limit or prevent access to each of cocaine or heroin, the State acts rationally to limit opportunities for drugging of oneself to either of alcohol or prescription drugs.
It never is unethical or immoral to provide, in exchange for consideration, a product or service that another who has freedom of choice willingly and consciously seeks to consume. Regardless, an ethical or moral line of business can, rather rationally, be deemed illegal by Government.
As we have encountered in context of each of domains of Philosophy or Science, there, of course, is one snafu, namely there exists the feasibility that man’s definition of wealth can have character of irrationality. In this respect, if a man were to remove ‘happiness’ from his or her characterization of wealth, it is safe to assert that such a man embarks on a path of irrationality. We arrive then at Aristotle’s insight that life consists in pursuit of happiness, but then, what exactly does it mean for a person to be happy?
When it comes to happiness, definitions probably are as many as there are tribes (Africa) or factions (the rest of planet earth) in the world.
One cannot conclude a treatise, which devolves into discussion of happiness as source of resolution of a matter, but yet not engage with happiness in context of some discussion of spirituality. Happiness, after all, is not a physical thing that can be touched or held, rather is a phenomenon that, in entirety, is metaphysical, as such, spiritual.
The only cadre of spirituality of which I am aware, which explicitly declares that God has ‘altruistic’ interest in ‘happiness’ of man is Christianity (The Beatitudes of Jesus Christ in Matthew ch. 5). In this respect, Buddhism does not believe in existence of God. Islam declares God can place you in the toughest segment of His fight against evil, not care whether you are happy. Hindus believe man does not have his own objective existence, that man merely is a phenomenon which manifests God. All that matters then is that God is Happy.
Christianity’s Characterization of Sources of Happiness (Matthew 5:3–9)? Note the root word translated ‘blessed’ actually means ‘Happy’; but then the translators felt ‘Happy’ was too secular and blithe, as such, chose the word, ‘blessed’. In context of Aristotle’s work, however, ‘Happy’ is not blithe, rather is grand, grave, and satisfying.
Believing that you can be better and exerting efforts in that directionality (the financial economists’ characterization of rationality);
Willingness to acknowledge mistakes or past errors (the philosophers’ condition for rationality of the choice as to how to live);
Meekness — treatment of others with dignity;
Acknowledgement of your needs, and exercise of effort for fulfilling of identified needs;
Kindness to others, particularly those in need of your help;
Purity of Motives — not that you do not have self interest, but rather, that you do not engage with others with intent of, and efforts towards their expropriation;
Willingness and efforts for peacefulness of coexistence — you would celebrate the new peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
In context of the Christian Creed, people are washed from sin only so they are able to arrive at happiness (John 3:16; Acts 3:19; 1 Peter 3:10–11).
In the Christian Creed, Happiness is, in entirety, metaphysical, equivalently, spiritual, but yet reflected in character, actions, and choices that are visible in the physical world.
Given the Christian Creed for Happiness encompasses each of the Philosopher’s and Financial Economist’s creed, clearly, it is superior. In the declaration that happiness encompasses identification of your needs, and efforts for satisfaction of your specific needs, the Christian Creed empowers individuality of pursuit of happiness, as such surpasses Sciences’ characterization of rationality. In the demand that all interactions that subsist in society be predicated on Purity of Motives, the Christian Creed for Happiness embodies an objective standard for truth.
The Christian Creed for Happiness makes sense to me. But then, the same Creed asserts that your characterization of happiness is entrusted to you, cannot, perhaps, better still, ought not be dictated by any other person. While we can learn from others, ultimately, the choice as to how exactly to live is left to us.
Will you actively define for yourself your creed for happiness, or will you abdicate and allow others define for you how happy life exactly ought to be?