Reasonableness is a matter of degree. Beliefs can be very reasonable (Japan exists), fairly reasonable (quarks exist), not unreasonable (there's intelligent life on other planets) or downright unreasonable (fairies exist). There's a scale of reasonableness, if you like, with very reasonable beliefs near the top and deeply unreasonable ones towards the bottom. Notice a belief can be very high up the scale, yet still be open to some doubt. And even when a belief is low down, we can still acknowledge the remote possibility it might be true. How reasonable is the belief that God exists? Atheists typically think it very unreasonable. Very low on the scale. But most religious people say it is at least not unreasonable (have you ever met a Christian who said 'Hey, belief in God is no more reasonable than belief in fairies, but I believe it anyway!'?) They think their belief is at least halfway up the scale of reasonableness. Now, that their belief is downright unreasonable might, in fact, be established empirically. If it turned out that not only is there no good evidence of an all-powerful, all-good God, there's also overwhelming evidence against (from millions of years of unimaginable and pointless animal suffering, including several mass extinctions - to thousands of children being crushed to death or buried alive in Pakistan earthquake, etc. etc. etc.) then it could be empirically confirmed that there's no God. Would this constitute a 'proof' that there's no God? Depends what you mean by 'proof'. Personally I think these sorts of consideration do establish beyond any reasonable doubt that there is no all-powerful all-good God. So we can, in this sense, prove there's no God. Yet all the people quoted in my last blog say you cannot 'scientifically' prove or disprove God's existence. If they mean prove beyond any doubt they are right. But then hardly anything is provable in that sense, not even the non-existence of fairies.
The test of a theory is its ability to cope with all the relevant phenomena, not its a priori 'reasonableness'. The latter would have proved a poor guide in the development of science, which often makes progress by its encounter with the totally unexpected and initially extremely puzzling.
You just try to do everything that comes up. Get up an hour earlier, stay up an hour later, make the time. Then you look back and say, 'Well, that was a neat piece of juggling there -- school, marriage, babies, career.' The enthusiasms took me through the action, not the measuring of it or the reasonableness.
One of those disturbing tendencies in academic life is that there is a desire on the part of many in the name of open-mindedness to fall into a kind of relativistic denialism in which all positions are equally legitimate, all positions must be respected, and compromise must be entered into no matter what the starting point or reasonableness of the two parties.
But the shouts and smell of smoke had a powerful effect on me. I don't say they excited me, but they gave a sort of universality to what I was feeling. I am who I am because I am not them - well, I was not alone in feeling that. We were all who we were because we were not them. So why did that translate into hate? I don't know, but when everyone's feeling the same thing it can appear to be reasonableness.
I should consent to breed under pressure, if I were convinced in any way of the reasonableness of reproducing the species. But my nerves and the nerves of any woman I could live with three months, would produce only a victim... lacking in impulse, a mere bundle of discriminations. If I were wealthy I might subsidize a stud of young peasants, or a tribal group in Tahiti.
The great decisions of human life have as a rule far more to do with the instincts and other mysterious unconscious factors than with conscious will and well-meaning reasonableness. The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form- an indeterminable form which cannot be superseded by any other.
We should take care, in inculcating patriotism into our boys and girls, that is a patriotism above the narrow sentiment which usually stops at one's country, and thus inspires jealousy and enmity in dealing with others... Our patriotism should be of the wider, nobler kind which recognises justice and reasonableness in the claims of others and which lead our country into comradeship with...the other nations of the world.
Judges are the people who have to protect the rights of individuals, have to protect the rights of minorities, have to protect the rights in the Constitution, have to protect the requirement that the executive and the legislature not simply exercise raw power but adhere to standards of reasonableness and constitutionality.
Jed S. Rakoff
It may seem to your conceited to suppose that you can do anything important toward improving the lot of mankind. But this is a fallacy. You must believe that you can help bring about a better world. A good society is produced only by good individuals, just as truly as a majority in a presidential election is produced by the votes of single electors. Everybody can do something toward creating in his own environment kindly feelings rather than anger, reasonableness rather than hysteria, happiness rather than misery.
He brought a sensibility and a hard-edged reasonableness to operating restaurants that had a lasting impact on me and still affects how I run all our restaurants today. The passing of 'Restaurant Man' - the original gangsta 'Restaurant Man,' my father - was the passing of an era. No one can replace him.
The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice. I have no fear of constitutional amendments properly adopted, but I do fear the rewriting of the Constitution by judges under the guise of interpretation.
Prepare for every negotiation... 1) Focus on Outcomes. What is it that you want to walk away with? Being as specific as possible also increases the likelihood of negotiation success. 2) Support your desired outcome with data that points to its reasonableness. 3) Writing down your key points in advance - and practicing them - enables you to stay focused on what's most important and avoid going off on tangents. 4) Err on the side of asking for more, rather than less [of what you really want]. 5) Be willing to walk away.
Lois P Frankel
Even as a young man, Vito Corleone became known as a "man of reasonableness." He never uttered a threat. He always used logic that proved to be irresistible. He always made certain that the other fellow got his share of profit. Nobody lost. He did this, of course, by obvious means. Like many businessmen of genius he learned that free competition was wasteful, monopoly efficient. And so he simply set about achieving that efficient monopoly.
Protestantism has the method of Jesus with His secret too much left out of mind; Catholicism has His secret with His method too much left out of mind; neither has His unerring balance, His intuition, His sweet reasonableness. But both have hold of a great truth, and get from it a great power.
We love a world in which the people in the white hats get rewarded and the people in the black hats pay the price. And that I have to say doesn't happen very often, particularly in a very complex economy. We're in a time of panic where people have lost trust in what the banks are doing, what the investment firms are doing - lost trust beyond a level of reasonableness, to be honest. And, it's got to be stopped.
Rebecca M. Blank
One could be forgiven for supposing that rationality (or, more softly, 'reasonableness') is irrelevant - and even possibly opposed - to being a good lover. This is perhaps because we tend to think of love as a feeling, rather than as an achievement of intelligence. A reasonable or rational person is not one who is only interested in logic, or someone who tries in a cold, robotic fashion to substitute calculation and analysis for kindness or yearning. We are reasonable when we are moved by accurate explanation. Thus a reasonable person is slow to anger; they do not jump to conclusions
Alain de Botton
I care not for the theoretical symmetry and impregnable logic of your moral code, I care not for the hoary respectability and traditional mysticisms of your theological institutions, I care not for the beauty and solemnity of your rituals and religious ceremonies, I care not even for the reasonableness and unimpeachable fairness of your social ethics,--if it does not turn out better, nobler, truer, men and women,--if it does not add to the world's stock of valuable souls,--if it does not give us a sounder, healthier, more reliable product from this great factory of men--I will have none of it.
Anna Julia Cooper
Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. 'That's some catch, that Catch-22, ' he observed. 'It's the best there is, ' Doc Daneeka agreed. Yossarian saw it clearly in all its spinning reasonableness. There was an elliptical precision about its perfect pairs of parts that was graceful and shocking, like good modern art, and at times Yossarian wasn't quite sure he saw it at all, just the way he was never quite sure about good modern art or about the flies Orr saw in Appleby's eyes. he had Orr's word to take for Appleby's eyes.
You learn more about life and people in two hours of war than in four decades of peace. War is dirty, sure, war is senseless, but come on! Civilian life is also senseless, in its sameness and it's reasonableness and because it dulls the instincts. The truth that no one dares speak aloud is that war is a pleasure, The greatest pleasure there is, otherwise it would stop immediately. Once you've tasted it, it's like heroin: you want more. (...) The taste for war, real war, is as natural to man as taste for peace, it's idiotic to want to eliminate it by repeating virtuously that peace is good and war is evil. In fact it's like men and women, yin and yang: you need both.
The bond between husband and wife is a strong one. Suppose the man had hunted her out and brought her back. The memory of her acts would still be there, and inevitably, sooner or later, it would be cause for rancor. When there are crises, incidents, a woman should try to overlook them, for better or for worse, and make the bond into something durable. The wounds will remain, with the woman and with the man, when there are crises such as I have described. It is very foolish for a woman to let a little dalliance upset her so much that she shows her resentment openly. He has his adventures-but if he has fond memories of their early days together, his and hers, she may be sure that she matters. A commotion means the end of everything. She should be quiet and generous, and when something comes up that quite properly arouses her resentment she should make it known by delicate hints. The man will feel guilty and with tactful guidance he will mend his ways. Too much lenience can make a woman seem charmingly docile and trusting, but it can also make her seem somewhat wanting in substance. We have had instances enough of boats abandoned to the winds and waves. It may be difficult when someone you are especially fond of, someone beautiful and charming, has been guilty of an indiscretion, but magnanimity produces wonders. They may not always work, but generosity and reasonableness and patience do on the whole seem best.
Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling. The daimon motivates. It protects. It invents and persists with stubborn fidelity. It resists compromising reasonableness and often forces deviance and oddity upon its keeper, especially when neglected or opposed. It offers comfort and can pull you into its shell, but it cannot abide innocence. It can make the body ill. It is out of step with time, finding all sorts of faults, gaps, and knots in the flow of life - and it prefers them. It has affinities with myth, since it is itself a mythical being and thinks in mythical patterns. It has much to do with feelings of uniqueness, of grandeur and with the restlessness of the heart, its impatience, its dissatisfaction, its yearning. It needs its share of beauty. It wants to be seen, witnessed, accorded recognition, particularly by the person who is its caretaker. Metaphoric images are its first unlearned language, which provides the poetic basis of mind, making possible communication between all people and all things by means of metaphors
There were some children round him playing in the dust on the paths. They had long fair hair, and with very earnest faces and solemn attention were making little mountains of sand so as to stamp on them and squash them underfoot. Pierre was going through one of those gloomy days when one looks into every corner of one's soul and shakes out every crease. 'Our occupations are like the work of those kids, ' he thought. Then he wondered whether after all the wisest course in life was not to beget two or three of these little useless beings and watch them grow with complacent curiosity. And he was touched by the desire to marry. You aren't so lost when you're not alone any more. At any rate you can hear somebody moving near you in times of worry and uncertainty, and it is something anyway to be able to say words of love to a woman when you are feeling down. He began thinking about women. His knowledge of them was very limited, as all he had had in the Latin Quarter was affairs of a fortnight or so, dropped when the month's money ran out and picked up again or replaced the following month. Yet kind, gentle, consoling creatures must exist. Hadn't his own mother brought sweet reasonableness and charm to his father's home? How he would have loved to meet a woman, a real woman! He leaped up, determined to go and pay a little visit to Mme Rosemilly. But he quickly sat down again. No, he didn't like that one!
Guy de Maupassant