Some thoughts about human irrationality

Some thoughts about human irrationality

While discussing with some liberal conservatives, their arguments were that human beings are irrational by nature, and that ‘spontaneous’ order (coming from the seemingly irrational actions of individuals in the society) can overtime lead to rational/good outcomes, such as our great liberal institutions, or some legitimate/good traditions. The second argument is factually incorrect.

The fact that we must acknowledge and take advantage of human irrationality does not go in contradiction with the need to humanistically (without the use of force, but via education, debates and scientific research) tackling human irrationality.

The world can only be better, not worse, with humans being more, not less, rational!!

There is an automated security system for new users. You didn’t trigger it. It knows if you paste posts in. Don’t worry. You’re posts are long which might limit engagement, but that’s up to you.

Thank you very much for your assistance. I shortened significantly the original post, and will let some reflections inside for future separate discussions.

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I’m not sure what a “liberal conservative” is, it could be just about anyone.

I have mostly focused my studies on the history of the philosophy of religion. That has been a long process of taming the institutions that were based on irrational ideas and justified inhumane policies. Some argue that despite the problems, great things came out of those institutions, like art and architecture. IMO, those would have happened without witch burning.

I don’t remember who it was attributed to, but someone pointed out that we are at a point in human development where we need to let the ideas flow. That is more voices, even the ones that don’t seem so great, are better than a few voices that are determined to be smarter or more rational or whatever criteria. Once the ideas are out we can consider them, and then work on making rational choices.

No, it refers to a very specific movement: Liberal conservatism - Wikipedia
An example of liberal conservative is Jordan Peterson.

I am very interested in those issues. Hope we will have the opportunity to discuss about them.

Extremely important point to make and repeat indeed. Thank you.
(But that doesn’t mean we should not be able to have debates: disagree and express our disagreement with other people’s idea! Not for relativism here.)

It means we should debate, civilly. It means we respect the right to come up with new solutions, even bad ones. Encourage the speculation.



Up to a certain point. See the paradox of tolerance.

The paradox of tolerance states that if a society’s practice of tolerance is inclusive of the intolerant, intolerance will ultimately dominate, eliminating the tolerant and the practice of tolerance with them. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly self-contradictory idea that, in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must retain the right to be intolerant of intolerance.

No. We should encourage innovation, new ideas, not speculation.
Speculation, bad science, pseudo-science, hurt people, even science itself.
Scientific racism, for instance, which is a pseudo-science, killed millions of people, and seriously decribilized science.

We should therefore also encourage rigor.

I don’t usually get the Paradox quoted at me, I’m usually quoting it.

“Speculation” needs refining. I get your point.

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Where does that come from Lausten? I don’t understand the context.

At least Lozenge’s comments & OPs are rational and engaging in a way a lot of new posters haven’t been. That’s worth applauding.

Yes, yes, yes.

Out with the talkers and in with the teachers.

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I noticed in the OP, the wiki link to the definition of liberal conservative.

That page starts with:
“Not to be confused with Conservative liberalism or Libertarian conservatism.”

I respect those who can keep all such labels clear in their mind. I am not one of those people.

While I am not proud of my limitations, I must say that labels like these make me think, “This just isn’t worth it.” I often felt this way in courses in philosophy. While I respect those who can keep a seemingly infinite number of labels straight in their head, I just hope those people can forgive my limitations.

He asked about posting too much somewhere. Either he edited the post or I posted this in the wrong place.

Thanks for the clarification. It was a little confusing.

I had in mind people who call themselves liberal conservatives. Of course there are some people who do not call themselves “liberal conservatives”, but of which discourse is liberal conservative.

Liberal conservatism refers to a real school of thought (Burke, Hayek, Sowell, etc.) defined by a conservatism on social issues, but a liberalism on economic and political issues.

A lot of people are against the use of categories. Maybe they think it is not cool or not intellectual?, or it betrays a lack of knowledge about the actual members of the categories?

There are 22 types/categories of screws. These objects shouldn’t be called “screw”, given that “screw” is a category?

Besides, categorization is an extremely pervasive exercize in science, for all its history. And it helps to build knowledge (it permits to dive into the very features of the members of the categories, in order to classify these members according to their common features), and transmit knowledge (categories are a useful pedagogical tool).

I don’t know the others, but I think Sowell and Peterson are hucksters. They might believe themselves, but their philosophies are bankrupt

I fully agree with you, as long as one remembers that the map is not the territory.

Yes, they should. There is 1 category of screws with 22 types of screws.

Yes. The map is not the territory.

Easily 22 general categories, this guy below came up with 26.

One of the many things that always fascinated during my carpentry and handyman days was how many different types of screws there were, and I keep seeing new kinds, and danged, if there isn’t a good reason, application, for each of 'em.

Screws is a super category.

, :wink:

  1. Carriage bolts
  2. Decking screws
  3. Double ended screws
  4. Drywall screws
  5. Eye bolt screws
  6. Framing screws
  7. Fillister head screws
  8. Hex cap screws
  9. Hammer drive screws
  10. Lag screws
  11. Machine screws
  12. Masonry screws
  13. Oval head screws
  14. Pan-head screws
  15. Particle board screws
  16. Square head bolts
  17. Self-drilling screws
  18. Set screws
  19. Shoulder screws
  20. Sheet metal screws
  21. Socket-head screws
  22. Thread cutting screws
  23. Washer-faced screws
  24. Wood screws
  25. Weld screws
  26. Tamper-proof screw

Ever wonder how many parts a single screw contains?

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving Day, I did.

Oh and we call them “screws” because we can’t remember all them different names!


Liberal conservatism is, IMO, the greatest adversary of liberal humanism.