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Strengths and weaknesses of reason

“Reason is a way of thinking characterized by logic. It is the ability to think, understand and draw conclusions. It is often contrasted with emotionalism, which is thinking driven by desire, passion, or prejudice. “[1] Reasoning is very important in our daily life. Every time we do something there is a reason behind it. Reasoning is a way of knowing, which will bring about a logical conclusion to what we are doing. Whether what we are doing is right or wrong. For example: A casual smoker can reason whether smoking is good for him or not by reasoning out.

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As he knows that smoking will affect his health and he will ruin his life. There is no gain in smoking but he is wasting his time and money which is not worth it. He is risking his life for few minutes of pleasure. So he can clearly see that what he is doing is wrong. Reason gives you more confidence to work ahead and achieve your goal. When ever you reason, you have expectation which keeps a fire aflame. For example when a businessman is working in an organization he is working to make maximum profit. That is also one of the reasons and expected outcome why he/she is working for.

In initial stage he might make losses but he/she shouldn’t get discouraged by it. Flame of a fire should be there to give inner strength to work upon it. Anything you do in your life has a reason behind it. For example, a student has an option of choosing different courses for his/her career. At that time, when student chooses an International curriculum there is reason behind it that he/she might wish to go to abroad for their further education. International curriculums like IGCSE, IB Diploma, A-Level and so on. When one wants to acquire education nationally then they would choose National or State education.

In life often you have to make choices which involve opportunity cost. [1] http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Reason In Today’s generation every one would wish to know the reason for what they are doing. Working without a reason is like travelling in a bus without a destination. For example: When a student goes to school he questions himself why am I going to school. At that time he has an ambition which is reason for him. He might wish to see himself as a doctor, engineer, businessman, lawyer, policeman, journalist, teacher and many more for which he/she works rigidly.

A business man for example: Reliance is a company which started with initial capital of just $300 . The founder of this company was Dhirubhai H. Ambani. Today we can see that this is India’s largest private sector company with revenues of $16. 7billion. We always reason when we are learning something new. Reasoning will always be based on circumstances, experience, experiment, research, knowledge. For example: when a child is told not to play with a knife he will not listen. No matter how many times his parents warn him.

He will only understand what it means when he is injured by that sharp knife. He will go through the pain and bleeding. That is a child’s experience and knowledge about this object. He will be careful in the future. He will learn as he grows up. His parents warned him because they had knowledge about the sharpness of knife and how injurious it can be. They have also learnt it the same way. So the next time we do something we will try reasoning it. In science and mathematics we reason with facts and proved theorems. It acts as backbone for us to deal with experiments and solving.

Scientist does research with reason that they can discover or invent new facts. Newton’s Third Law stated that “Every action has equal and opposite reaction” [2] this was derived by many experiments. A very simple example to support this law is in sports. Cricket, when the ball is coming towards the batsman it is hit by the bat and the ball goes in the opposite direction with a greater speed due to the force applied by the bat. This is how they reason out. [2] International Baccalaureate Physics 2nd Edition Greff Kerr, Nancy Kerr ,Paul Ruth

In mathematics we have different theorems and formulas which are derived by many researches from which they came into a rational conclusion. For example: We have theorems like sum of equilateral triangle is 180 degree ,the opposite angles of isosceles triangle are equal, in squares all sides are equal and each angle is of 90 degree. These are few plane geometric theorems which are proven by Euclid Alexandria. [3] This is the way how students are able to understand mathematical concepts. In this there is deductive reasoning. However like everything there are two sides to the coin.

So here strength is one side of the coin and weakness is another side of the coin. Despite all its advantages, the process of reasoning has many shortcomings which make it inapplicable in various situations. In psychology, for example emotion plays a more important role than reasoning. The psychologist needs to understand the emotional situation of his client. If he uses his reasoning to solve his client problem he would fail to help him in any way. Here understanding of emotions plays vital role. For every emotion there is not a reason behind it. So there is no reason for having mental problem.

The illness is natural by which there is change in the human behavior. The behavior which he has is an abnormal behavior for which a psychology can do this by tracing out or understanding his problems. Also for analyzing any historical character it is important to understand his thought process and emotional situation at that time. Reasoning his actions with the basic principles of behavior and psychology is not an effective method of understanding the history. Aurangzeb was a religious bigot. He did everything in the name of religion even though his actions generated unhappiness.

There was no reasoning behind his planning. Literature is another area of knowledge where reason remains an individual approach and can vary from person to person. Writing and understanding literature involves an empathy and a thorough understanding of the various human characters. [3] http://derrel. net/math/euclid/euclid. htm More than reason, emotions and feelings play a greater role in a language as a way of knowing. It is more important to explore the feelings of the characters so that the readers can relate it to their life, rather than reason it with wit and ethics.

For Example: In Doll’s house Nora has an attitude towards spending more money than the total income. Here she has attitude of living life in a luxurious way. So to understand her character, language and emotions play imperative role in knowing them. Another area of knowledge where reason proves to be subjective and personal is art. An artist makes more use of the artistic sense/skill within him to produce his painting. Creativity and his own concepts are portrayed in an artist’s work, and consequently reasoning is personal based on his own ideas and conventions of art.

Here people have different perception about the different art. Perception greatly varies from one people to another people. Reason is an indispensible part of a judgment for decision making but it can be subjective and not necessarily identical to another person’s point of view. Reasoning depends on the premises of logic if premises are right my conclusion through reasoning will be correct and if the premises are weak my interpretation will be wrong. Reasoning is best when it is supported by fact and information and analyzed systematically without bias and prejudice.

Bibliography http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason


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