This concept of belief preceding rationale has been weighing on me lately. The real question is: how do I change my mind? Do I really? Can I really argue myself into a different position? I find that no matter what I "think" (that is rationally), my "belief" (aka intuition, "spirit", will, whim) is more powerful; belief is master. If rationale wants to see action it has to win over belief. However, belief can act on its own. Therefore the only rational (hah!) conclusion is that belief is more powerful.
In the first centuries of Christianity, theolgions far and wide attempted to rationalize and systemitize the liturgies and beliefs of various congregations. This was for purposes of both unity within and defense against oponents without. Fundamentally however, their work was post-rationalization; the main themes had already been struck and agreed upon. They had to figure out "why".
This post-rationalization experience has not ended however. In the Age of Persuasion, as Terry O'Reilly paints it, opinions, minds, facts are all up for grabs; going to the highest bidder. Simply stated, belief reigns over the facts. No spin focuses on giving people all the facts; simply the pre-selected ones.
- that's just your opinion
- history is written by the winners
- you have to read it in context
No one has all the facts. It's impossible; that's a fact.
No wonder our belief is more powerful than our rationale. It is an animal that lives on less, can adapt to every possible habitat and requires no company.