“The facts don’t lie”, “the truth doesn’t care about your feelings”, “that just isn’t reasonable”. In a political atmosphere that is dominated by the cynicism of the Ben Shapiro, the piss-takers delights of Milo Yiannopoulos and dumb man’s thinking man Jordan Peterson, this hyper-awareness of “reason” and “the straight facts” has encapsulated. Ironic really when one considers the post-truth world these men represent. I hate this if I am going to completely honest (and I may as well be, oh so anonymous reader). Is it because these ‘facts’ and ‘reasonability’ contradict my personal beliefs? No. Is it because my youthful optimism hasn’t been crushed yet, the conservative ideals of these men perhaps appealing to an older and mortgage burdened version of myself? No… at least, I hope. What frustrates me about our post-truth fixation on reason is the one thing it destroys: the profound truths we can learn through the messy emotional stuff.
Let me lay something out to you. Reason is justification. Reason is a sequence of logic leading to what would seem a sound outcome. If there is a recall on your model of car due to possibly explosive parts, it would be reasonable to return the vehicle. If there was a rising crime rate in your neighbourhood, it would be reasonable to get a lock on the door. If the Kulak peasantry were an obstacle to achieving the goal of a socialist Russia, then it would be reasonable to wipe them out brutally. If slavery formed the backbone of your region’s economy, then it would be reasonable to fight for your right to exploit the labours of others. Sorry? Did that not sit comfortably? Did a knot form in your stomach, a lump inflate in your throat? I’ll let you on in a little secret: class genocide and slavery don’t make me very happy either. You see, the problem we have with these assertions is that they are not paired well with human emotion. Whether it be from a cosmic God (or a race of ghost-like aliens for the Scientologists in the audience) or only enshrined human disposition, it is not reason that tells us the morally deplorable nature of slavery and genocide. In fact, these conclusions follow quite soundly (if a little disturbingly). No, it is, in fact, the little voice in the back of your head, the small leap in your heart or the clench of your teeth is screaming “something is very, very wrong with that!”. It is, indeed, your emotion.
Not that I’m saying Ben Shapiro is advocating for systematic class-genocide, however, once we try and remove emotion from the facts and replace it with reason, we lose touch with our humanity. As a matter of fact, reason dictates very little in our lives. Having a child isn’t a very reasonable thing to do. Since the dawn of humanity, all the little bastards have ever done is take up time. They require personal sacrifice, spread resources thin and most disturbingly, poo at will. Yet here we are thousands of years later, still breeding. Babies appear out of nowhere because of our desire, a strange and unreasonable want.
To sound a little cliché, the modern world is in a little need of this emotional stuff. Lives are spent in discomfort because it is reasonable not to stand out. Lives are lost in war because it was a reasonable sacrifice to achieve a much greater purpose. I am also not ignorant to the fact that emotion has led to song pretty dumb things. Romeo poisoned himself out of a broken heart. Germany voted for Hitler because of their anger towards the system. I asked two girls in one month in year eight because of teen crushes. But once we place reason as the highest order of knowledge, when we compromise what our emotional sense tells us, we lose our touch.
So next time you click on a “Ben Shapiro wreck’s emotional snowflake college student with FACTS and LOGIC!” (take that libtards, am I right?) consider what angers that weak little teenager. Are they just an overly sentimental, triggered social justice warrior, or is there something genuinely truthful to what they are feeling?
Written by Alexander Driscoll