There is no individual thing in nature that is more useful to man than a man who lives in obedience to reason. (Spinoza, Ethics, pars IV, prop. 35, coroll. 1)
A human value is essentially a signpost for gaining power, for acquiring high social status, for maximizing one’s influence within a social group.
One such value is rationality, which I define as the desire to align one’s thoughts and actions with reason, especially logic and science.
Rationality is a means to power to the extent that it is valued by society.
But do we want rationality to be valued by society?
That’s a misleading question because values don’t transcend societies.
What we can ask, though, is whether more rational societies organically gain power over more traditional societies.
What is a ‘rational society’ anyway?
Rational society A sacrifices meaning for economic efficiency to maximize profit.
Rational society B integrates meaning into utilitarian efficiency to maximize well-being.
If A and B were to compete against each other in a struggle for supremacy, which society would win?
- How to Maximize Happiness in Society
- Is Progress Good for Humanity?
- Why Should We Care About Ethics?
- On the Importance of Values in Life