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How do people aquire the ability to make decisions based on reason?

Posted by edweaver 4 years, 9 months ago to Philosophy
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It seems to me that some people are better at using logic and reason to make decisions than others. Is the ability to use reason natural at birth and some force destroys it or does it have to be learned or taught?

Discussion/thoughts??


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  • Posted by khalling 4 years, 9 months ago
    certainly, some people have inherently, better minds-just like some are better athletes.
    The thing that limits ability to use reason is a purposeful decision to not PRACTICE reason and logic. (some are never taught it) In first and 2nd world countries today, that is no longer a valid excuse.
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    • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 9 months ago
      in order to use reason you most have knowledge as in education. it is not an inherently acquired ability.
      athletes must practice to become proficient at their sport
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      • Posted by $ jlc 4 years, 9 months ago
        While an athlete has to practice to become the best that that individual can achieve, the starting point varies dramatically for different people. I have seen individuals who, after 6 months of basic instruction, out-compete most people who have been doing the sport for decades. These are the 'naturals'. It is not education that produces this difference, it is innate ability.

        Jan
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        • Posted by $ sekeres 4 years, 9 months ago
          Agreed. We can all learn and improve our abilities in reasoning, as well as in athletics. Each individual, however, has aptitudes to learn some things more easily and quickly than others -- as Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation (http://jocrf.org/aptitudes) has been demonstrating for nearly a hundred years.

          On the other hand, "[A]ll babies are born {or, rather, conceived] geniuses and [most] get swiftly de-geniused.
          -- Buckminster Fuller
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        • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 9 months ago
          if the individual became very good quickly it was because they had the intelligence to know what to do to get better.
          I think it is time to understand that education is the very starting block of being able to do anything especially reason.
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          • Posted by $ jlc 4 years, 9 months ago
            I totally disagree. Education is handy, but inherent abilities are more important.

            Jan
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            • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 9 months ago
              INHERENT; Existing in something as a permanent attribute or quality. How did the "something" become a permanent attribute? If you refer to an animal they have inherent qualities for survival but if you refer to humans they do not; humans must go through the learning process and then once learned and applied this knowledge can become inherent. There is much I know today with respect to what i do in my business to survive that was not inherent knowledge in my brain but acquired over many years. The same holds true for doctors, lawyers, pilots and probably what you do to survive. So the key is getting educated.
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              • Posted by $ jlc 4 years, 9 months ago
                You are factually inaccurate, wiggys. While there are some aspects of human life that are totally environmental (which religion you have, which language you speak) the Minnesota Twin Studies (back in 1979) observed that the aptitude for language (of whichever place you live) is about 80% defined by heredity. This finding has been upheld by subsequent twin studies (though with slightly varying percentages). If twins are adopted in different countries, for example, they each learn their native language with the same degree of literacy and fluency as the other twin - even though the languages themselves are different.

                The statement that 'humans do not have inherent qualities' represents a theory that has been overturned by the Twin Studies and other research.

                Jan
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      • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
        So just to clarify, a person without being taught would not have any power to reason?
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        • Posted by plusaf 4 years, 9 months ago
          I pictured some of the old stories of 'feral children' "raised in the wild"... Any "education" they received were modifications to basic instincts, and I don't consider that to be a significant "learning to think."
          I do believe that people, as they develop, probably have some innate "knacks" for doing better at certain things than others, whether it's "thinking" or athletics or art or whatever!
          I think that trying to figure that one out is mental masturbation, and we'd be better off by Observing the Developing Child, trying to Discover their 'knacks' and helping them develop whatever innate skills or talents they're "good at."
          I've got an Extremely Bright 'grandson' who's been open to questioning life and observing it forever. His parents are extremely liberal and I'm not, but over the past few years, I've introduced him to My Version of Critical Thinking, based roughly on Socratic Processes. Now he loves to ask questions and explore "answers" with me and I treasure our conversations together. I can nudge him in directions that might be more congruent with MY views than his parents' but I do it by repeatedly asking, "Well WHY does THAT happen?" and encouraging HIM to try to figure out the answers without just 'giving him the answer,' whether it's my view or someone else's.
          I jokingly refer to 'corrupting his mind' and he keeps coming back to ask me more questions. Often, he'll ask me what 'my take is' on some subject. If I have an opinion or belief, I will readily provide my view, but immediately turn the conversation Socratic so we can both try to figure out why I, he, or others have the views they hold on the subject.
          That may end up being the greatest contribution I ever make to the world in my life. I'll call my life 'successful' if those lessons have changed him.
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          • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
            I believe everyone is born with the ability to reason, it is just that many don't use it. In many cases because it is taught away from them.

            I feel for you with liberal children but applaud you do doing the best you can to help your grandson learn critical thinking, and not the common core kind either. I would concur your successful life if the lessons change him. We need all the help we can get. I say keep corrupting...the way you are. :)
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        • Posted by wiggys 4 years, 9 months ago
          correct! the learning process is not relegated to book learning. if you were living in the wild 10,000 years ago you would learn from trial and error. then you would pass that knowledge on to your offspring. you or your offspring would learn the basics of reasoning even though they were not intellectually aware of it. without gaining knowledge you can only be a vegetable and just sit there and do nothing. obama is a perfect example of someone who has never learned to reason, and he quite clearly demonstrated that last night.
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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 4 years, 9 months ago
    Hello edweaver,

    'Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses. It is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice. Thinking is not an automatic function. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. thinking requires a state of full, or focused awareness. The act of focusing one's consciousness is volitional. Man can focus his mind to a full, active, purposely directed awareness of reality---or he can unfocus it and let himself drift in a semiconscious daze, merely reacting to any chance stimulus of the immediate moment, at the mercy of his undirected sensory-perceptual mechanism and of any random, associational connections it might happen to make." TVOS, pg.22

    It is true that people have different aptitudes in this regard, but it is also true that many are coddled and not pressed to think for themselves. In our present sociopolitical climate we are encouraged not to teach one to fish, but to give him fish. It is the same when it comes to thinking, when one would rather have you provide the answer to them rather than have you tell them to look it up or do their own research. It is Altruism being played upon. This is not how one learns to reason and use logic on their own. Our society has deemed it important to insure no one is left behind even if it means thinking for others. ...participation awards are a manifestation of this mentality. Nature would cull the mentally indolent or force them to think in order to survive, but governments are constantly trying to bring equality not by forcing the indolent to pull their weight, but for the producers to carry more. This is of course economic suicide as the nation is less productive and the productive become resentful of the ever-growing burdens; while the "needy" grow ever more resentful of the successful as they are increasingly blinded by their indoctrination. It is an indoctrination of class warfare that destroys the human will. Incentives matter. When one is guaranteed a basic standard of living by government, even if at the expense of others many will find that sufficient incentive to choose sloth. To think, or not to think, that is the question/choice.

    In short, to answer your question: My opinion is that it is both. We may not be able to do much about one's nature at birth, but we can enhance or undermine one's future by what we do, or do not teach. If you are not taught to think for yourself you are a good follower and compliant serf... a parrot. This is no doubt attractive to our elitist and statist politicos.
    Respectfully,
    O.A.
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  • Posted by MountainLady 4 years, 9 months ago
    I've often wondered if the ability to use language and the ability to reason from cause and effect have evolved simultaneously.

    Language, to be effective, must be time dependent, just as reasoning from cause to effect is also time-dependent. In fact, the very earliest verbs, I think, like "go" and "be" have different roots for past or present tense. Children learn very early that no one ever "goed", one must "went". I believe that the past tense verb then, for essential motion or existence came later in the evolution of language, but that the ability to reason accompanied and even stimulated the development of language, and vice-versa.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 9 months ago
      Yes, you cannot think without symbols for concepts. However you have to be careful not to play into the linguists/language where they take words as the primary not reality
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      • Posted by MountainLady 4 years, 9 months ago
        I thought about that comment I made while walking home and realized that an instinct or "awareness" of "past" came later in evolution (even after the advent of language, communication if you like) maybe at around the same time as a feeling for the future, or the "about-to-be".

        Certainly language and causal thinking evolved in tandem.
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  • Posted by krevello 4 years, 9 months ago
    This is something my few objectivist-minded friends (I'm in my mid-20s) and I often wonder about. There are a few of us who are perfectly content to sit around for hours and debate the minutiae of philosophical questions and our other friends want nothing to do with us. I honestly think the difference comes down to a thirst for knowledge. My rationalist friends and I read everything because we genuinely want to know about different rationales. And the more you're exposed to it and the more you recognize different rhetorical strategies, the more you automatically use them in conversation. I've noticed this difference in my college classes and in the quality of work I saw when I worked for my college newspaper. It's an initial act of volition to think, and then it gets easier the more exposure you have.
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  • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 9 months ago
    It is learned and made better by practice like most everything else. In particular no matter how smart you are or how good at abstract reasoning that is not remotely enough to get rational ethics down to your core and to build the kind of life you are proud of.
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  • Posted by SBilko 4 years, 9 months ago
    Most definitely, logic must be taught. Logic and the scientific method are relatively recent discoveries. Most of human history has been characterized by superstition, witchcraft and shamanism, all of which developed as a means to control men. They are primitive attempts at philosophy, but they explain very little. Reason is the facility that allows conscious thought and we are born with it if we are not mentally deficient, but it has both proper and improper uses. Reasoning from faulty premises can be as dangerous as acting on pure emotion. Luckily, people living in this age have available all the information they need about logic and the proper use of reason, however these things are not emphasized in most basic educational systems.

    I firmly believe that the reason why the majority of human history was characterized by tribalism and savagery is that it was nearly impossible to disseminate the principles of logic to the population. Once these things were discovered and a mechanism to communicate them came into being, mankind advanced in the relatively short time span of a few thousand years after spending millennia in a state no better than animals.
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    • Posted by lrshultis 4 years, 9 months ago
      The knowledge of the principles of logic have to be used by choice. You can study logic and be an expert at its use in reasoning but even then just having thoughts will not do. Rational thought requires volition. Otherwise you get mostly irrational thoughts. Every animal with a complex enough brain is capable of thought but few, other than humans, are able to use reason and few humans choose to use reason rationally with regard to facts of objective reality and the principles of logic. Having thoughts is not the same as using reason. Thoughts that pass through a mind without volition have to have some subconscious logical basis but it takes volition to apply the implicit logic of a mind to objective facts.
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  • Posted by teri-amborn 4 years, 9 months ago
    The human brain can be programmed. It depends upon the child's personality and how his or her brain functions.
    Psychoepistemology is the study of how the brain reasons and stores knowledge. If your parents had the ability to not face reality and then consequently use emotion instead of reason to raise children, you would have to be very strong-willed to avoid psychological damage and hence have an innate ability to reason...
    That is until life hands you enough experiences that you begin to think for yourself.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 4 years, 9 months ago
    The 'wiring' and 'components' are available for all humans, but all skills (even walking) have to be practiced to reinforce that 'wiring' and mental process. Basic math involves logic and reasoning as does language and nearly any work task.

    Some brains come with wiring and components that are more adept at certain processes than are others, but unless there are birth defects or damage to the brain, any can be trained (with cooperation--volition) to a basic level of comprehension and efficacy. But as with any human attribute, the range of function from individual to individual will cover a broad bell curve.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
    Now here's where I disagree with A.R. All people are not born "tabula raza". Some are born with more inate talent than others and as a result find it easier to accomplish certain things than most people would. However, that doesn't mean that a person can't achieve as much or more than the gifted person. A perfect example would be Mozart and Beethoven, Mozart was born gifted. Music flowed from him like water from a well from an underground sea. Beethoven had to work harder. Evidence of this is the sketches for the 5th symphony where the famous four note phrase was worked over and over until he got it just so. Yet most critics agreed that Beethoven was the equal or even the superior to Mozart. To make a long story longer, dedication and hard work can often equal and even surpass that of the gifted person.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 4 years, 9 months ago
      Talent is not knowledge. Tabula raza says nothing about your talent (Ability to think), it only states that you have no innate knowledge when you are born.

      On a purely scientific bases this is not quite true. Babies for instance have the reflex to suckle. However, it is true for any high level knowledge.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
        Exactly.
        It is said that along with his inborn talent, Franz Liszt ha long fingers and a very wide hand spread enabling him to perform tricky passages others found almost impossible to master. He was the rock star of his day. Ugly as sin, though.
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        • Posted by $ puzzlelady 4 years, 9 months ago
          Ugly? Maybe to you, man. To women he was most attractive with a magnetic personality and magnificent eyes. Princesses and countesses and commoners lusted after him. One even bore him 3 children. Disclosure: my father (born in Hungary in 1894) was a concert pianist and specialized in Liszt (and Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, et al.). I didn't know how lucky I was, growing up with that music as my father practiced daily. He had large, beautiful hands, too.
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          • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
            Oh do I envy you your past. I played the music on my phonograph that you mentioned every day as I grew up, and others too. My father's only comment was, "Do you have to play that thing so loud?"
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          • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
            Franz was not a pretty boy by any standard. A beaked nose, a prominent mole, wore a greasy looking caftan, and assumed the air of a mystic. But for the time, his performances were almost miraculous But then, as the old saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
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          • Posted by H2ungar123 4 years, 9 months ago
            Lucky you, to have grown up in such a
            musical environment! Chopin,Liszt - the greats!
            My dad was also born in Hungary; didn't
            play piano but could rock a harmonica like
            no other!!
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      So for clarity, you believe it is possible for some people to be born with some ability to think?
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      • Posted by Herb7734 4 years, 9 months ago
        I believe that some people's brains function better or differently than others. Savants are an illustration of that, and others do not necessarily need to be autistic to have such abilities. When I was a trombonist and gave private lessons, I found one kid who caught on so quickly it was breathtaking. In 6 months to a year he was as good or better than me, and I knew, I could never catch up to him if I practiced 10 hours a day and had lips of steel. Fortunately, most of us are not born as savants or geniuses and simply have to work harder and longer and do our best. If the gifted person is not as dedicated as the non gifted person, the non gifted person can exceed him. I get the feeling that you are thinking of Rand. I have heard her in conversation and debate. She had as sharp a mind as anyone I ever encountered, and I'd never want to be in a debate as a con to her pro. I'd probably need lots of band-aids to cover the thousand cuts.
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        • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
          Personally I am not thinking of any single person. What I'm really trying to ask is if, like your example of the kid with the ability to pick up music quickly, which to me says they were born with that ability, is it possible that some are born with a natural ability to use reason, and catch onto it quickly? I don't know if I have explained my question well but I think you are saying yes it is possible.
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  • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 9 months ago
    Inborn ability but it requires two things. Acknowledge the ability exists. Turn the switch to on. It's called thinking. for the rest

    Three step program..

    1. The Law of identify. Existence Exists Existence is Identify Consciousness is Identifcation

    2.The Law of Causality. Any thing must act in accordance with it's nature. It cannot defy it's nature and within the limits of it's nature. A is A. The Law of identity applied to Action. A leaf is not a rock both however may shed water. Requires observation using the senses. Is constantly re-evaluated for accuracy.

    Third....Ethics, morals, Values applied to the facts determined and tested by a conscious mind.

    I found it useful to start with some of the Intro to Objectivism books so i could delve into the books by Ayn Rand with a clear idea of the subject. I'm not everyone.

    What I don't do and haven't for many decades is substitute fairy tales for facts nor accepts 'facts' without proofs. Buried somewhere in the ether of synapses and secretly governing my thoughts and leaving me with no control is ....fiction.

    Consciousness is a means of cognizing reality not of creating or altering it. Facts are not replaced by Metaphors.

    that's my version.

    Why some people are better? Has to do with environment but is also learning to be self aware. When that happens the thinking switch is on. Instant freedom of being an individual
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  • Posted by sowen228 4 years, 9 months ago
    Logic and reason can come from many factors. If you are in a large family or the middle child, conflict resolution becomes your mantra. You therefore tend to think logically how to respond to get the "best" from and for all involved. This reasoning adds to the ability of logical thinking. I think everyone has the ability and it how you want to progress in that area tends to lead. Look at your heroes as a child and as an adult - were they logical or at least attempted to be? These are the example we tend to follow and add to ourselves.
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  • Posted by blackswan 4 years, 9 months ago
    A quick scan of history would suggest that reason is not innate, but must be learned. It could also suggest that it's a natural need, and that people are attracted to any ideology that offers a coherent view of the world, even if it's flawed, which is what we've seen throughout history. An alternative suggestion might be that we've been groping through the centuries for better, more complete worldviews that we can use, and reason is just the latest in a long line of continually improving levels of reason.
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      I'm going to ask you the same question that I asked someone else because I want to hear from people who say reason is not innate. I'm not trying to be redundant, only to get the same question answered.

      If reason is not acquired at birth how can we explain the ability of a young child to learn? For example, if a child touches something hot they pull back because of the pain but they also quickly learn that touching the same thing again will result in the same pain. Seems to me that is the power to reason. If not wouldn't they just keep touching it unless there was someone there to stop them? IMHO, there are many lessons that are either taught or learned that would not be possible without the power to reason. Thoughts??
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 4 years, 9 months ago
    All of those things are a factor. But at the lowest common denominator is having a connection to the mind.
    Logic and reason, beyond survival necessities cannot occur in the brain alone. A sense, at least, of the big picture and integrating one's accumulated knowledge can only take place in the mind and experiences over time.
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  • Posted by bbuckeye 4 years, 9 months ago
    As a part of my philosophy minor as an undergraduate in the late 50s I took a course in Logic which included syllogisms and logical fallacies. These skills are not innate!
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      Absolutely none innate or mostly none?
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      • Posted by $ HeroWorship 4 years, 9 months ago
        There is a fair amount of research on biological bases for moral reasoning - all are heuristic and few are what we would call "rational." To debug this system requires training - ain't gonna happen otherwise.

        And, some have greater aptitudes for this training.
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      • Posted by bbuckeye 4 years, 9 months ago
        Whom do you know who routinely speaks logically? First one must know the rules. That knowledge is not innate.
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        • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
          I have not asked about a conversation. I think that is a separate discussion. I want to discuss if making decisions based on reason is acquired at birth, learned/taught or both.
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          • Posted by bbuckeye 4 years, 9 months ago
            My belief is that not only is it not acquired at birth, but that many people resist reasoning/logic is favor of emotion. If there is any truth (and anecdotal data would say there is) to the right brain left brain theory then right brained people (creative types/liberals) have a terribly difficult time being logical. It is not in their nature.
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            • Posted by bbuckeye 4 years, 9 months ago
              I am afraid the we are speaking about apples and oranges. The ability to reason is not the same as thinking logically. Sure we can reason innately, but we cannot think logically innately.
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              • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
                Now it makes sense. My specific question was on the ability to reason which is why I asked the follow up questions. I was confused and now I have clarity. Thanks for the reply.
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            • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
              If it is not acquired at birth how can we explain the ability of a young child to learn? For example, if a child touches something hot they pull back because of the pain but they also quickly learn that touching the same thing again will result in the same pain. Seems to me that is the power to reason. If not wouldn't they just keep touching it unless there was someone there to stop them? IMHO, there are many lessons that are either taught or learned that would not be possible without the power to reason. Thoughts??
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  • Posted by cjferraris 4 years, 9 months ago
    I think there are differing factors in play for each person. For me, I had a job where I did service work. I got stuck working graveyard and was on my own to be the service tech for the company until I could move up to a day shift. I was with the company for less than a year, and although I knew the basics of my job, I would have to call my boss for technical help from time to time. After waking up my bosses a few times, and realizing that while they were willing to help me, they weren't too keen on me calling them at 2 am to fix some issues. I made a conscious effort to do whatever I could NOT to call them and started relying on my own instincts and abilities. Before I knew it, it had been a month before I'd have to call... then 2 months... etc. The next thing I know, I'm off of days and start getting sent on the out of town runs because I'm known as the person who can figure things out. As I realized that it was MY choice to be successful or not, I think it caused my self confidence to grow.

    As with anything, it starts with a belief in yourself. Being able to say "I can make it work", gets the ball rolling.
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  • Posted by bsmith51 4 years, 9 months ago
    http://Despair.com says that "When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there's no end to what you can't do.

    That said, the ability to use reason and logic starts with childhood perception. If a child grows up happy and healthy, his perceptions and views of the world follow reality. If not, those realities are distorted and all manner of rationalizations follow to make them "psycho-logical."

    One only need think of Obama, who was a love child, first abandoned by his father, then schlepped around the world to live in different cultures before being abandoned to his perceived racist grandparents. Confused and angry, Obama was then an easy mark for Frank Marshall Davis and, later, Marxist professors to convince him that his unhappiness was the fault of the white, colonialist West, so much so that he changed his very name.

    Here's an Objectivist take on it - <5 minutes video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whQl_...
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    • Posted by 4 years, 9 months ago
      So for clarity are you saying there is no natural ability to think? Simply a product of the environment?
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      • Posted by bsmith51 4 years, 9 months ago
        Not at all. Among the wealth of capabilities our brains have, some stand out from others. On occasion, someone is raised to maximize the one great capability that that person is born with. This, in my view, is how we get people with "natural" talents, such a a Mozart (music), Leonardo (curiosity, art and science), or Einstein (conceptualization).
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      • Posted by $ MichaelAarethun 4 years, 9 months ago
        Thinking or reasoning is a natural ability just as instinct is a natural ability for other forms of life. For others it's chemistry.. plant leaves follow the sun.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 4 years, 9 months ago
    Professor Edward de Bono, in his book "de Bono’s Thinking Course," has an excellent example of intelligence and efficient thinking. He says:

    The car may have a powerful engine, a smooth gear box and wonderful suspension. But the skill of the driver is something different.

    Indeed, the very power of the car may place extra demands upon that skill. In no way does the power of the car ensure the skill of the driver. In the analogy the engineering of the car corresponds to the innate intelligence and the driving skill of the driver corresponds to the operating skill we call thinking.

    It is also often the case that a more humble car has a better driver. Driving skill can also be learned and practiced and improved.

    Beyond the basics, thinking is a learned skill, like driving or anything else.
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  • Posted by JoleneMartens1982 4 years, 9 months ago
    I think motivation and perception has a lot to do with reason. I recently watched the first two seasons of Reign. The show was highly overdramatic and I oftentimes found myself screaming "you idiot" and other choice words at the TV. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it was the way things were. They did not know any better. I think our society suffers from a lot of "doing things the way they've always been" "the same old thing", and " business as usual " mentality. Let's face it in just the last 20 years life has changed so drastically that even in an all English speaking neighborhood there are still very heavy communication barriers. Life has changed too much to not have everyone on the same page and I believe those barriers are what is causing a lot of the media provoked lack of reason. So many people rely on media for their education, because let's face it public education has become nothing more than brain washing and propaganda. They have to learn somewhere, mom and Dad are too busy or don't care, and the only place anyone will listen is on the internet, and they are lead by it and Tv. It is terrifying to think where elderly people are going to end up when this generations kids grow up?
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  • Posted by $ sjatkins 4 years, 8 months ago
    Two things seem crucial. The first is paying really good attention to what happens and what sort of motivation and preceding thinking, framing the situation feeling led to what kind of choices that lead to those things happening.

    The second is being very honest in doing the first.

    These two together teach one rather quickly that good results come from more honest and rational choices and more honest and rational choosing of values.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 years, 9 months ago
    Dear Mountain Lady: Using reason to make de-
    cisions means focusing on the facts before one.
    And that is the root of going by reason. (Specific
    processes may come later, as one learns more
    about it).
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 years, 9 months ago
    A significant factor in developing a logic-seeking approach to life is inherent emotional disposition. I was a quiet, thoughtful child (which usually meant I was more creative in the trouble I got into), and if what my parents told me made sense, I followed their guidance. My brother, on the other hand, was emotional and volatile, challenging seemingly everything he was told, and remains irrational to this day. My father often jokingly blamed me for suckering him into wanting another child, as I was too easy to rear. I was well and thoughtfully nurtured, but my genetic nature certainly helped my development as a rational being.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 4 years, 9 months ago
    Personal discipline is the key. I know several very smart individuals who decided that they were better than everyone and everything else. They dropped out of school and are now stuck in dead-end jobs and still live in their parents basements. Their arrogance became their personal foils. They refused to temper their self-assessments and recognize that talents are important, but application moreso.

    I also know a couple of basketball players who weren't the most gifted athletically, yet went on to excel in college (and beyond) because of hard work.

    Mental gymnastics are no different than physical gymnastics - and I might even venture harder in fact. It takes personal discipline over a long period of time to gain control over one's passions and emotions. It is certainly made easier by appropriate role models and mentors who can speed the learning process.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 4 years, 9 months ago
    If tempted to do something that doesn't make sense, just because it feels better, one needs to
    focus on what the rational thing would be. Often
    that is no fun; I can't say that I have always done
    it. (Particularly on a cold morning when I don't want to get up right away, but I know it has to
    be done). But if you focus your mind on having
    to get to work, or to that appointment, or that
    job application opportunity, you may find your-
    self, feeling as if it is against your will but your
    body is somehow moving, getting out of bed and
    getting started. And, as others are saying, prac-
    tice makes it easier.
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    • Posted by MountainLady 4 years, 9 months ago
      Are you referring more to, perhaps, goal-seeking in individuals instead of ability to reason?

      Goal-seeking could be considered a drive, instinct or even need in some individuals. It also serves as an incentive to use such mental abilities as reason.
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  • Posted by term2 4 years, 9 months ago
    People act either on blind emotion like animals , OR. they observe what's going on and regulate what they do in response to their goals and the facts of reality
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