Category Archives: Dysrationalia

Priorities: Even the Best Minds Can Choose the Un-Best Things

Perhaps you are an exceptional individual, having trained your own mind much more than your neighbors train theirs. And perhaps it’s quite obvious that your own priorities have been chosen with more diligence and care than they choose their priorities. Perhaps the things you think about and study and promote are considerably more advanced than your neighbors are willing to invest themselves in. And perhaps, if they would listen to you and invest in some of these things, it would make the world around you a considerably better place.

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Reasonability Bias: The World May Be Worse Than You Think

When you put forth a reasonable argument to someone, you’re pretty much assuming they are going to care about reason, and assign some authority to it, submitting themselves to its authority. Frequently, though, we get responses that don’t fall in line with that assumption. And what do we do? We get frustrated, of course. But more than that, look how often we continue to expect people to yield to reason!

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Who Does Not Normally

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8. NIV

God—who does not normally show himself—
Has put man here on this Earth,
Giving us enough information
To believe in him (if we want to),
And to know, (if we want to)
What he requires of us.

He has even given us the cognitive faculties
By which to reason out the Golden Rule
For ourselves (if we want to)—
And even the moral faculties by which
To live it out (if we want to),
Doing by nature (if we want to)
The things of the law.

And make of it what you will, but it seems
He prefers for the time being this subtle approach,
His grand appearance having been reduced to the record,
Such that it may sit idly on the shelf—
If that’s where it is left.

That is to say that he does not go house to house,
Bullying the residents for their devotion,
But leaves it to man—who does not normally
Look deeply into the things of God—
To choose for himself what he will do about it.

And many, being procrastinators,
Will choose not to choose, while others—
Seeking being dodgers—
Will claim they have neither noticed him
Nor reasoned him out,
Nor sensed the echoes of eternity in their hearts,
Nor ignored the prick of a God-given conscience—

And some will reason that
They are off the hook
Because he does not exist—

Or if they are particularly shameless,
That he didn’t really mean what he said—
Or that they are are in fact
Doing better than they really are—

And that is how it goes so often.
But even so, man—
Who does not normally repent fully—
Sometimes does!

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us…. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.

Acts 17:27-31. NIV

If America Were to Wake Up Tomorrow

A particular king, not very righteous.
(Bust of Charlemagne in the Aachen cathedral treasury. Aachen, Germany. See credit.)

If America were to wake up tomorrow—
Suddenly under the reign
Of a righteous and powerful king,
Having been charged by God himself
To set things straight without partiality—

And if, by some chance, that king were me—
God having somehow figured me righteous enough
For such an undertaking, and having given me
No other instructions but to do what seems best
In view of what I have learned so far from the Bible
And from my study of history and of our Constitution—

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