This is a quote, said by the master of an Oxbridge college, to a journalist and sympathetically quoted by that journalist in one of today's newspapers:
"We spend our lives here educating a new generation to understand that rational behaviour requires us to reach conclusions and make decisions by examining evidence... We have the heir to the throne demanding - not in a throwaway remark, but in an entire book to which he has just put his name - that we should reject science and evidence in favour of following our instincts. This is surely disturbing."
I was concerned that someone at one of our finest universities could reject 'instinct' out of hand (and surely rejecting it in exactly the same way that he accuses the heir to the throne of rejecting reason).
People form instincts in a number of ways. Some might be personal prejudices which might seem understandable to that person alone (particularly if other people have been prejudiced against them) but which might not be reflected on a larger scale.
But some instints are entirely correct to be made and are the common sense position. Instinct is a form of reason is my argument and it should not be discounted from academia. Instinct sometimes relies on observation and so does much reasoning, unless it is of a strictly mathematical sense.
Someone who goes through life discounting instinct is fooling themselves. Everyone necessarily relies on instinct up to the highest levels of academia and, if they don't think that they are, then they should stick to maths because they cannot have a full understanding of many other subjects.
'Reason' and 'Instinct' Watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by Picnic1; 18-12-2010 at 14:49.
- 18-12-2010 14:45
- 18-12-2010 14:55
I agree. For what we cannot explain surely there is absolutely no reason to shun any explanation? I'm an Anglican, but I'm still open to the idea that God may not exist. Obviously I believe he does, but that doesn't change the fact that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that he or any other kind of deity doesn't rule over us, we can't say it isn't possible.