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People hearing without listening, people acting without reasoning…

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Ever wanted to by a phone because you just 'felt like it'?

Ever wanted to by a phone because you just 'felt like it'? (Source:

Many times over, we experience something which we call ‘impulse’. Ever went to a shop and bought a new mobile just because you ‘felt like it’? Ever picked up the phone and called up your friends because you’ve ‘got nothing better to do’?

Whatever it is, we’ve certainly experienced this feeling before – acting without reasoning.

But do we really not have a reason for doing something?

I don’t believe so.

You see, right, we somehow attach a ‘reason’ to when we have a decision thrust into our faces, and we decide on a best course of action after thinking about different alternatives, and choosing the best one. The reason that we assimilate with decision making is, then, to do with feasibility.

But what about reasons like ‘it feels right to me’, or ‘I don’t know, it just feels…right’?

Perhaps what we’re referring to is gut instinct, the ability to decide on the basis of our past experiences that are interconnected to this contemporary instance. Or, perhaps, because we’re emotional beings, and anything we decide to do or not to do has an emotional root to it. So, if you’re looking at that car that you really want, the reason to buy it isn’t really ‘I just feel like buying it’, it’s more like ‘I feel like exchanging $100,000 for happiness and satisfaction’.

So, here’s how I categorize reasoning:

1. When it’s conscious, or when you actually take the time to think about it, reasoning has a basis on the external world, and depending on your culture, it can sometimes be rephrased as ‘the strength of your connection to the external world’.

For instance, you decide whether you want to murder that friend that backstabbed you, or to confront him/her openly. Upon thinking about the long term consequences, the second option seems like a more rational one, doesn’t it? So you made this decision on the basis of your connection to your external world, in this case, the strength of your connection to your friends.

Obviously, there are so many more implicating factors when reasoning, like, your own personality traits (level of decisiveness, obstinacy, etc.), the circumstances you find yourself in, the resources you have (mental, physical, tangible, intangible, etc.). But, taking aside stuff you can’t control, the basis that you have for reasoning while conscious would be, again, on the strength of your connection to your external world.

2. When it’s unconscious, or when you’re not thinking before acting, your reasoning has much to do with the innate nature of human psychology, in terms of our behavioural inclinations.

Reflexes would be a good example. When you touch a hot iron (classic, innit?), you quickly retract to prevent yourself from burning. Why? Because humans have survived this long on prioritizing self-preservation over any other factor.

Take another example. When your friends ask you out to the beach, you flatly refuse, saying ‘nah, can’t be bothered to go’, not on the basis that you don’t want to go as a friend of your gathering, but because of our tendency to avoid repetitive behavior when it exceeds a certain limit, or because the body is exhausted after a marathon from the previous day, or because of your tendency to not go to these social gatherings (that’s the law of consistency going against you, mate), and saying , ‘too lazy to go’.

So, really, any reasoning can have a basis in the external world or in you.

Just thought that was interesting. XD

I’d love to know what you think about this…share your thoughts here!

Written by imicrothinking

November 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm