What is a rationalist?

Well, right away you've gone about asking the wrong question in the wrong way. Which is itself sort of what rationality is about.

Rationality is the art of thinking. You know how anyone can pick up a pencil and scibble, but it takes skill and practice to draw or write? That there are techniques you can use to refine your natural ability to draw or write? Well, thinking works the same way. There are techniques you can use to think better, that is, be better able to get the right answers from the same information. A rationalist is therefore a lot like an artist or a writer; somebody who is really good at thinking in the right way. Like art or writing, this doesn't happen overnight.

Rationality is an art in that is must be refined by it's users, but it is also a science. The brain, and the things the brain interact with (ie reality) are shaped by concrete facts and determining these facts are key to being a better rationalist. Therefore, a rationalist must also, to a degree, be a scientist; one ready to accept and refine scientific knowledge and to use the scientific method to further their own abilities.

The most important thing about being a rationalist is learning how to think; establishing the patterns consistant in natural or socially ingrained throught (biases), then overcoming these biases when they interfer with your ability to determine facts. It might help to think of everyone as being crazy; it's not far from the truth, as people's biases act like mental blocks that can prevent them from seeing truth right in front of their face.

TL;DR Version : Rationality is Learning to Be Sane

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Probability, defiance to crash test anything
Game

Probability, defiance to crash test anything

May 12, 2011 News 7 comments

An article about defiance to crash test (or test) anything.

Falsification
Game

Falsification

May 10, 2011 Rationalists of Moddb News 25 comments

For something to be right, there needs to be the possibility of it being wrong.

What if we find the answer to life?
Game

What if we find the answer to life?

Jan 18, 2011 Rationalists of Moddb News 9 comments

Let's put aside the search for the meaning of life and consider what would happen if we found it.

Practical Game Theory
Game

Practical Game Theory

Nov 20, 2010 Rationalists of Moddb News 9 comments

Our first activity for the Rationality group, I present... THE GAME OF DIPLOMACY.

Life as the sum of sensory feedback
Game

Life as the sum of sensory feedback

Nov 18, 2010 Rationalists of Moddb News 11 comments

Discussing the idea of "Life as the sum of sensory feedback".

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 88)
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7 May 30 2012, 9:44pm says:

*rationally random comment*

+2 votes     reply to comment
IndieBase
IndieBase Dec 4 2011, 12:18pm says:

Hey guys, i made a video called "How I became an Atheist" and it's my first video, would love it if you could give it a watch :)
Youtube.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
#k
#k Oct 26 2011, 12:10am says:

never mind this is the ultimate question to mankind's survival, what is the best government that will be able to prolong our existence, it has been proven that the only perfect society has been under absolute rulers such as Elizabeth and Caesar, but individuals don't live forever so that isn't an option, the longest lived government in history was the Roman republic/imperial republic, but that to succumbed to internal corruption, so what is the best type to insure our survival as a nation and a civilization

+2 votes     reply to comment
GOD_MAN
GOD_MAN Feb 26 2012, 4:20am replied:

Human morality is the main flaw. Communism SHOULD be good,but it has a flaw:the human flaw.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Galgus
Galgus Jan 7 2012, 5:58pm replied:

Images4.wikia.nocookie.net

What exactly do you mean by "perfect society"?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7 Oct 26 2011, 10:18am replied:

In theory it would be "Democratic Socialism". But in practice it still would not work because there is corruption in all forms of government and someone would try to use the fact that the gov't would be providing for us to their advantage and exploit it. In theory it has many benefits, but in practice they do not outweigh the risks. So, to answer your question; There is no "best" because they are all equally vulnerable to twisting and corruption. Ancient Israel had it right though. Under a righteous king (righteous meaning justice and what is right) they flourished and were greatly feared throughout the world of the time. That would not work now of course because of the previously mentioned corruption.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7 Oct 19 2011, 9:23am replied:

I don't know why God exists and I think the answer doesn't really matter. Its not like we would comprehend the reason anyway. It may not be scientifically possible to prove He exists using the laws of physics because He exists outside of our plane of existence and subsequent dimension and universe that reside within that plane. It is written that "not even the heavens and heaven of heavens can contain Him". Heavens of course meaning the universe. What "heaven of heavens" means I can only speculate. It probably means the same thing as dimension and plane but it could also mean something else beyond even that. I just don't know and that is something we probably could never know or understand in our current state. Remember that the laws of physics are still mostly theories we have yet to really prove outside of simulations designed to operate under the assumption that they are correct. Off the top of my head the only one we have really proven are the very basic simple laws of gravity, motion and transfer of energy. There are probably some more but I can't remember right now. We actually know next to nothing in the grand scheme of things and know very little of what we claim to do know. This is why we have faith and why through faith we gain some understanding and communication. You would be surprised at the number of frequent conversations we have with God. I don't just mean prayer I mean actual conversations like you would have with another person standing in the same room as yourself. You would also be surprised at the things we learn from Him when He reveals the meanings of some things to us. He may even reveal to us whether or not we are alone. Eventually. What I'm personally interested in is how extraterrestrials (if they exist) would fit into His plan. I'd like to think they may even know of Him and may even understand more about Him than we do. That's why I'll be one of the many people excited over any discovery we make concerning life out there.

+2 votes     reply to comment
CommanderDG
CommanderDG Oct 19 2011, 5:04pm replied:

Very true. But then again, why would there be a god if there is no need for one? What make his existence possible? Of course we have a limited range of the spectrum of things we know and even a smaller range of things we can prove with total certainty, although, if we can't prove with total certainty something directly involved in our planet or universe, why would I bother to believe in something which I cannot have any concrete proof?

Just a little side note, I don't believe really in a religion despite I am a baptized christian. I think some of the morals in the bible are excellent. However, in my head they are still tales. Although, that doesn't mean I disrespect those who do believe in a religion neither that there isn't necessary a creator or a higher power of sorts. However, I have yet to find a religion or a belief that would overcome my doubts or convince me otherwise regarding the presence of a "God".

Also, I apologize. I didn't meant to offend you by saying religious.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7 Oct 20 2011, 6:18pm replied:

Oh you didn't offend me so don't worry. "Religious" is just a word to me and nothing more.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Yuribeard7
Yuribeard7 Oct 19 2011, 8:58am replied:

"Religious" is such an overused term. I'm not really religious I'm in a relationship. Huge difference.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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