Reasonable and unReasonable

It seems to be the destiny of reasonable people to ‘understand’ and tolerate fools. Why are we so understanding of those that hurt us? We almost trap ourselves into paralyzing inaction about doing anything that could even hint at our own loss of character, and get taken advantage of because of it. In Christianity we focus on forgiveness first, but we are so quick to forgive for our own piece of mind and rarely investigate and thoroughly process how we are actually affected by situations.

I would say, for the most part we don’t want to think about the ‘bad’ stuff and so try to suck it up and get over it as quickly as possible. I don’t think that is the best way to figure things out… what are we missing?

Couple that with a nieve understanding of judgement when in truth we make judgements about things all the time, in every day life. We have to to survive. Judgements about friendships, about business decisions, about how to react to situations in life. But we don’t judge the big things… or if we attempt to then the accused trump out their self righteous belief that they, for some reason, should not be judged and we are less of a person for doing so.

The truth is, at some point, those perpetrators made a judgement about our ‘reasonableness’ and decided that, they, for whatever reason could get away with it. And then what… when they don’t get away with it, or they get called on it by reasonable people -suddenly they feel oppressed and judged.

Transference by them? Possibly. Okay to do? Don’t think so.
All I know is that you should never shy away from making the difficult call just because you would risk repercussions.

It’s amazing how information, honesty and truth reveal unreasonable people for who they really are. Don’t be silent while unreasonable people continue to be that.

I read a quote somewhere about WWII that summarized things this way.
The greatest crimes in Germany were not just committed by the perpetrators… but by the silence of reasonable people.

I never want to be that person.

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5 Responses to Reasonable and unReasonable

  1. insanity says:

    An interesting discussion. I’m not sure I agree with the opening few statement so much though. The reason being, that this immediately sets up levels of absolute “non-foolishness”… which is a dangerous scale to work with.

    How do you measure how much of a fool a person is? What about people like the stereotypical idiot-savant… the genius mathematician who can’t understand how to dress… even the talented model who knows loads about pores and skin… but can’t remember how to turn their lights off on their car.

    Basically, I believe everyone is foolish… and everyone is “reasonable”… but we aren’t all the same. So the question for me isn’t why do reasonable people put up with foolish people… it’s simply why do people put up with each other?

    Of course, the answer is the same as what you arrive at. Truth & honesty are key points that people need to stand up for. The danger is when truth becomes Truth… that is, not truth as I believe it, but Truth as the only possible perspective others are allowed to have without being considered idiots and fools.

    As I said before though… your conclusion is quite correct. You need to be clear and stand up for what you believe in… just don’t make the mistake of believing you are standing up for anything more than your own opinion and feelings…. just like everybody else can do!

  2. Monkey says:

    It seems important to measure reasonable-unreasonableness in related categories. there has been much work done on behaviour in humans… er.. monkeys.
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/rv521t637574642l/
    and in children:
    http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/research/themes/pupil_voice/1138789/behaviours_r_i

    There are also many psych tools available in the medical profession as well as in the corporate world which are used to quantify people’s responses to specific situations. In the spirit of transparency and honesty these tools could be used as a part of our legal system to assess and deal with unreasonable situations fairly.

    the big flaw in this argument is that those in power of this information can misuse it. This is a societal issue that creates flaws in so many other social orders or world views used to guide and develop a better society, think communism or capitalism.

    This also plays out in world religions. Although religion manages to successfully create an environment with the right amount of pleasure/pain factors to encourage people to be the best they can be by attributing things to a higher power (think Christ, Allah, Karma, Reencarnation) this is a VERY simplistic view of religion I know, and world religion is not without major flaws. Still, this interplay between reasonable vs unreasonable elements of situations is almost our society’s dirty little secret. -It happens to so many people, and rarely with completely satisfying outcomes.

    I know this is post is touching on many other points, just my mood today. 😛
    But to address your last statement, there is a slight imbalance in living where we all strive to be greater, better, faster or stronger -with varying degrees of success, and yet… The people that define these standards are only standing up for their opinion. We reach a societal stalemate with no opportunity for moving forward. We can coax and suggest but inevitably, the knowledge that each of our individual lives gathers and the opinions that we create along the way are going to die with us.

    A further thought.
    How can we ensure that this cultural development continues? How can we ensure that we as a people are constantly moving in a direction that sees us improving… Why would I strive for anything but specifically what I want if I know that it only matters to myself? What motivation do I have for living the way I do?
    and finally, how do i ensure I am the best I can be?

    just my opinion. 😉

  3. insanity says:

    Those links you’ve posted don’t really tie into your broad statements of “reasonable” vs. “unreasonable”. The first one is merely a way of categorizing behaviour and appears to only deal with recording observations, not determining absolutes based on these (i.e., judging reasonable vs nonreasonable). The second is is recording behaviour against a scale, as related to social behaviour. So we still haven’t defined the limits of “reasonable” vs. “nonreasonable” in order for the rest of this discussion to have context ;).

    So what is unreasonable behaviour? These are not global absolutes… so what does your definition contain. Your links are good for quantifying, but your definitions are interpretations of quantity, that is, you are interpreting the numbers, rather than just reporting the numbers. It’s like taking a blood alcohol reading, and then referring to someone as a drunk. What BAC defines a “drunk”?

    Is still interesting to discuss though 🙂

    Regarding your last statements, “cultural development” is once again, an individual point of view. Some people would see society including and condoning gay marriage as development… others would see it as society dying… which are you?

    At the end of the day, we can’t use absolutes, because humans don’t understand them. So all we can do is attempt to reach a majority concensus, and then accept that as a “shared” value (though how shared is never known until someone starts trying to split hairs on the topic).

    What am I getting at in these rambling comments? Merely harping on the fact that you are your own individual point of view… and though you have every right to work towards what you see as the best you/them/us can be as an individual/society/world… no-one else can be forced to subscribe to this unfortunately/fortunately.

    Your view, as you said, dies with you… all you can leave behind is influences made on others (what they learnt from you, and how you changed them). Why would you strive for it if it is so temporary and disposable? Because you believe in it don’t you? It is “right” in your view of things… it makes some part of you feel good… honestly,, it’s because you care about your life and others lives and want to help them improve as well.

    Response to your final question: improve yourself in every way you can. That question is easy lol… the hard part is figuring out what an “improvement” is 😉

  4. Monkey says:

    I am not suggesting the use of absolute scales, people in so many ways are impossible to absolutely quantify.
    What I am suggesting is that these situations need more thought, more frameworks and greater pooled knowledge about how to effectively deal with unreasonable situations.
    Better information that can be used to limit the impact of unreasonable situations on our lives.

  5. insanity says:

    Just found an interesting link that touchs on how much truth may not be as absolute as the popular view would suggest

    http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/12/how-to-lie-and-tell-the-truth-without-being-an-arsehole

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