Dealing with the Unreasonable

Those we consider to be rational and reasonable are by definition open to changing their opinions when presented with facts and logic.  Those we consider to be irrational and unreasonable will not simply change their opinion if we bombard them or raise our voices.  We must add persuasion to our logic and our facts, we change through action, compassion and example.

Caplan’s “Myth of the Rational Voter” elaborates this point well and is recommend for anyone struggling with the tension line between the rational and the irrational. There is certain kind of safety in being irrational. If one is rational one must change one’s beliefs when presented with new facts and new arguments.  Changing a long-held belief can be a very painful process and risks one’s reputation. It is far more palatable to change when the agent of change uses softness and kindness.  After all, on the other side of the debate we find ourselves confronted with a human, not with Spock.

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