Rational Bunch Of People
“For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it’s about occupation, then we could also talk about it (Muslim prayers in the streets), because that is occupation of territory.”
“We must build a wall and have the Mexicans pay for it.”
“We will clear our land of all infidels and establish a caliphate of Islam.”
These are the words of a right wing French party known as The National Front, Donald Trump, and Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, respectively. It is not alarming that such sentiments exist in our daily lives, and while the more ‘rational bunch of people’ would view such sentiments with disgust, we must realize that whatever anyone is claiming is based upon a rationale that doesn’t have to be in line with ours and that a single mode of reasoning is just not possible in our world. The differences in opinions, however, are more often than not present only because there is misinformation or other factors skewing said rationale. And so by definition, a rational person is not the one who is in line with your ideas but a person who, to the best of his or her ability, uses all the information and resources available to synthesize and form an opinion.
However, when I see Mr. Trump magically producing cheering crowds while championing the ban of all Muslims entering the United States, I wonder what pushes people to support such hateful and discriminatory sentiments and what rationale or reasoning they are using. Is it the lack of intelligence or just a general lack of information to process? In my research, I have found that it is a little bit of both. When you watch the interviews of US citizens, you can clearly see how many people are just plainly misinformed and this resonates throughout the world. The average Pakistani will not have a clue regarding the daily happenings within the country, let alone foreign policy. His or her arguments regarding any topic will be based on pre-existing notions or what was force fed by the ‘impartial media’ through the use of bold, colorful text and flashy video effects .
But here we see a greater issue come to light. Are we as people really rational? Do we really stop, take a deep breath and analyze what’s happening to form an opinion? Or do we just succumb to fear and anxiety when it comes to dealing with things that we don’t know about?
Let’s take a look at past precedence. Hitler’s men killed almost 5 million Jews in the holocaust, but there was no realization of the atrocities that these men were committing at that time. Fear was induced into the hearts of those soldiers so that they would not stop and think, but would instead keep committing such horrific acts.
The speeches of Donald Trump and Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi are a little different. They are not based on logic, but on fear. They invoke not sense but anarchy and hatred so that people may blindly follow them. And by the looks of it, they are pretty successful. This brings me to the most pertinent question of all. With such fallacies in our rationale, are we really capable of making any decisions? The answer is yes and no.
You see, we have the capability and the intelligence to understand and make decisions which are in the better interest of not only individuals, but society. How else do you think we became the dominant and the most thriving species on this planet? However, what gets in our way is our complacency. We as a people have created a bubble in which we live, where we think that our knowledge and beliefs are perfect and thereby our rationale, in much the same way, is flawless. It is that complacency which limits us as individuals from seeking knowledge, seeking information, reflecting upon ourselves and most importantly, realizing the flaws within society. And so therein lies the solution. To have a society which is free from all vices, we must first pop the bubble of complacency and realize that we are not perfect. We must become more flexible and be open to the possibility of learning more from an adversary than from a supporter. Most importantly, we must aim to improve ourselves constantly and never settle for anything less. For stagnation has not been the reason of the great progress that we have achieved as a species and if we stagnate and stop the one thing that made us great (our will to learn) we will surely be doing injustice to not only ourselves, but to all those who live in this world with us.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of CourtingTheLaw.com or any organization with which he might be associated.