October 25, 2008
By Shereen Rabie, Temple, TX

Emotion should never hinder logic. I have always believed in the infallibility of logic and the truth it leads to. But what if logic is fallible? As I grow and mature, I realize that it is not logic that validates ideas, it is rational thought.

“Logic” is commonly used to classify rationality and is believed by many to be the only type of rational thought. But as I ponder, I realize, “logical” and “rational” are not interchangeable. If one maintains that only logical thoughts are rational, then one negates the scientific process because any deductions made during the process must be based on assumptions presumed to be valid without prior reason, for example axioms. Axioms are propositions that are considered self-evident and serve as starting points for further experimentation or deduction. With only logical thought, science cannot exist. Furthermore, when examined and dissected, logical thoughts must be limited to a small number of situations because each and every step throughout logical processes must be consciously validated and proven. Because of this, it is often unreasonable to attempt a logical process for most decisions in ones’ life.

To understand and define rational thought, one cannot limit it to just one process of thought, but must divide rational thought into two categories: the logical and the illogical. Despite the weakness of logical thought, all conclusions made throughout this process are guaranteed to be valid because of the thorough analysis of each step leading to the final conclusion.

Illogical thought is the second and most important type of thought. This type can be used in an overwhelming number of instances and is commonly referred to as “intuition”. Because this type of thought is emotionally based, this thought process cannot be validated. Illogical thought includes faith, expectations, instinct, and emotion. But in order to classify illogical thought as a rational process, one must prove its rationality. To do this, rational thought must first be defined. Rational thought implies that the idea being expressed makes sense and does not generate emotional doubt as to its validity. This definition does not require that all ideas be logically valid, but rather emotionally stable. Through this definition, logical thought must be validated through illogical thought and illogical thought only requires the absence of doubt.
Through this definition of rational thought, the doors to new experiences are opened that were previously shut by the limitations of logic. Doors to exploration, inference, and risk are made available.
You see, with the rejection of the infallibility of logic, I have expanded my horizons and made room for failure, for with failure comes growth. I have implemented rational thought to create emotional stability and doubt of invalidity in my future endeavors into the illogical. For with my new belief in intuition, I have created the opportunity to reach for the previously impossible and newly improbable, I have realized the uncertainty of truth and the beauty of the incomprehensible. For with the fallibility of logic comes the infallibility of rationale.

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