“The most rational person understands that he is not rational at all” – Me
Sometimes you say something in a conversation and moments after you said it it dawns on you that what you said was actually quite an insightful comment. The context of this comment was a paper that was cited in the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, which was about making rational decisions and how even scholars in the field of cognitive psychology, who are supposed to be fully aware of the pitfalls of decision making, fell into the same traps as most other people, or at least the majority of them.
One must conclude that no matter how knowledgeable an individual is in the cognitive sciences, he’s only human and, therefore, irrational. Yet we are not only irrational in making decisions, but also in the flawed world-view we measure ourselves that underlies all the decisions we make. To be able to function successfully in everyday society we need to delude ourselves that what we do matters; that there is more to the world than the randomness and unforgivingness of nature. If we don not create the illusionary sense of control and purpose, the individual can succumb to the psychological weight of the truth of his being and he will loose his sanity. In that respect people who have ‘lost their mind’, like the neurotic, are actually the most rational people of all, as they acknowledge the true nature of their reality. This is the general argument being made in “The Denial of Death” by cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker.