The Purpose for Rational Thought

Let me begin this was. Homo sapiens are nearly hairless social primates with opposable thumbs, larger brains than our primate cousins, and a voice box, and are motivated by instincts.

Other animals act from instinct, and some of their instincts are shaped and educated, the way a mother predator teaches her offspring to hunt.

An amoeba hunts and flees hunters quite instinctively. Higher life forms sort between competing instincts when, for example, confronted by a threat. A human primate likewise sorts between competing instincts.

The difference between human primates ond other animals is our capacity for rational thought used to articulate a course of action to other.human primates when communal action is required to respond to a threat.

This capacity for thought (analysis and prediction) and communication evolved because it gave certain populations an edge in survival.

Our capacity for rational thought is best used when it is used for the good of the group or the species, even for the ecosystem at large.

Unless indicated otherwise, our capacity for rational thought is misused when it is only used for personal gratification.

Personal gratification is appropriate when we realize that status and hierarchy are instincts. Once we understand the instinctive nature of one-upmanship, then we have to figure out where we can put our capacity for rational thought to good use.

There are several popular sayings that may be appropriate for primates with this increased capacity for rational thought.

“Lead, follow or get out of the way.”

“Fish or cut bait.”

“If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?”

“Time to put up or shut up.”

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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2 Responses to The Purpose for Rational Thought

  1. Jason says:

    Just curious. If you don’t believe we were created thus saying you don’t believe in God or the Bible then why bother trying to prove it means what you want it to mean. Can’t you just say you are atheist and reject that the Bible came from GOD or that there even is a GOD for that matter. Why are you arguing what GOD meant if you don’t believe he even exists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lane says:

    “our capacity for rational thought is misused when it is only used for personal gratification”

    you have some of the most piercing insights.


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