Sunday, January 2, 2011

Human Reason- Man’s only link to his origin and meaning-Part - A

Human Reason- Man’s only link to his origin and meaning

( Also see the latest blog on this subject at blog link: . Also our Book, titled ' Is reason a sense-organ? A super-mind above the known mind?', more details of which are there at the said blog)

Even a layman without any musical background will detect the difference in the beauty and order of a tune sung by some one like him, and a master. When a photo frame on the wall is tilted to sides no engineering degree is required to find the fault. When a group attack a single person without provocation, every one of us feel the prick of injustice. 

How man concludes that if 2 plus 2 make 4, twenty million plus twenty million will definitely make forty million? Or, say, where does the top cosmologist gets the notion that despite all the man's elaborate discoveries and findings about universe many things are still lying hidden, and his knowledge is incomplete?
Yes.. man possess a seat of ‘ORDER’ or a sensor of ‘ORDER’  ready-built in the system. It not only help us to detect disorder, but also urge us to bring-in order. Man can not normally resist its call without paying its high price. It is very similar to his call of hunger and thirst, and also the call to mate.

It urges leaders to fight for just causes, and victims to take revenge for atrocities suffered. Men will wage wars, and launch revolutions obliging to such calls.

Man is yet to fully realize such wider dimensions of his REASON. We so far could identify it only as a special faculty bestowed by nature for man, among other species. We so far have associated Reason only with the function of arriving at correct conclusions out of a given set of premises. It has so far been associated only with consistency of thought, and its logical conclusion.

Though the great philosopher Emmanuel Kant in his revolutionary observation found that human reasoning was limited to the special characteristics of the mind organ,( categories) and the ultimate ‘in itself’ truth about the objects was beyond its ability, he had certified the sanctity of science’s findings for its own sake. Hence the status and authenticity of the faculty of Reason remained in tact up to this day.

We could observe that, this faculty of Reason is present in animal and plant species also in  rudimentary forms. Predators analyze various options available for choosing the most effective way of striking at the prey. Plants also might be possessing it to choose the best direction for its roots to proceed towards water source, and branches towards sun. 

If we take such aspects of this faculty into consideration we will have to accept that, it is more an INSTINCT, or a sense-organ than a special faculty.  With man, it is much more developed and advanced. Like he has learned to make the best use of his physical organs like hands, legs and eyes, he could groom and develop this mental organ also to much higher degree of use, like gaining insight into the forces and energies that lie beyond the physical realm, including SENSING of God, or most importantly, HIS emotional predisposition !

While his external sense-organs are exclusively meant to give him experience of the objective world,God or you may call NATURE,it seems,had kept in him a door within, to one day know him/she too ! Knowing me closely is knowing my emotional or attitudinal predisposition,not my physical features.So, knowing one's emotional predisposition or predilection is knowing him fully and absolutely !

As observed in the case of man, Reason's function is more automated than chosen. A tilted portrait on the wall automatically draws our attention without the formation of any syllogism.  When we face the urge to save a victim on the street from a group attack, the  call is automated like a reflex. It is very similar to man’s call to mate and seeking  romantic relationship. One is helplessly drawn to such behaviour. Sense organs always behave this way, if one observe them closely. We can not deduce their existence and reality except by just sensing their unique categories; can ear's existence and reality be inferred by evidence of experience of any other sense-organ, say eye or nose ?

Even man's religions emerged out of the call of this mystery instinct of Reason. We can observe that human Reason has two different and distinct functions:

1)     The more or less mechanical function of  arriving at the best suited conclusion out of  the presented premises.  Note that only out of the available premises in front of him, not based on all the premises in the world! It is right for the moment only.
2)      The job of  splitting each ray of given idea into its constituent sub ideas is the second function of Reason. It can be called the PRISMATIC function of Reason. Like prism splits white light into its constituent different colours, reason too split each given idea into its sub-possibilities endlessly. This function is more CREATIVE than the earlier one. Unlike animals, only man seems possess  this advanced function.  It was this function that carried mankind through his civilizational advancement. The more the splitting of  such given premises before him, the more will be his urge to use reason, and arrive at new conclusions that take him to new stands and attitudes. 

Like his irresistible urge for seeking  love, this prismatic function too do not give man any rest, until it makes him continue using this faculty for finding final truths and answers. This function of Reason helps man to constantly sharpen and sharpen his truths ! Spirituality, as everyone agrees, is man’s urge to find ultimate truth and meaning of his existence. Religions, thus, have been his temporary halt point in the unending journey upward. Scientist shares this urge in a different way. What they want to find also is the ultimate truth of the universe and final equations for the matter- energy conflict.

Reason’s link to man’s origin and meaning

From where does this mystery sparkle of reason landed in human system? Even if man finds all the answers about matter and energy in cosmos under principles of physics, he may not be able to explain the origin of this mystery seat of ‘order’ without first admitting the metaphysical origin of  everything that exists. The more man knows about the universe, stars and black holes, the more is scientists speak about the underlying ORDER that they observe. Man could logically assume that what he possess in the form of his REASON within him could be the replica of such underlying order in the universe. It could be the link that unites man to the ultimate meaning and substance of existence!

But why should man be proud of his reasoning prowess? It is after all nothing far different from his urge to mate. Probably Reason is an urge a bit above in importance to the biological instinct of sex !

(also please see part -B of this blog for a more complete picture of this proposition, followed by our more detailed blog and book,whose references and links provided at the beginning of this post)

Abraham Joseph
An ardent seeker, researcher, and writer in subjects like philosophy, mind,Reason,spirituality and Polity
Twitter: voice of philosophy@jopan1