Theory of Knowledge
07 February 2012
How can beliefs affect our capacity to reason well and to recognize valid arguments? Can they affect a person's capacity to distinguish between fallacy, good argument and rationalization? What is the difference between a rational argument and a rationalization?
Reasoning is known as the process of forming conclusions, judgments, and inferences from facts or premises ("reasoning"). Being able to reason is a trait any developed adult with a small background of education can possess therefore should be able to recognize easily. However, simple reasoning can be altered by the beliefs that we believe in.
In order to argue whether having a belief can affect a person's ability to differentiate between fallacy, good argument and rationalization, one must find the difference between the three notions in general. A fallacy is a deceptive and misleading notion. A good argument can be defined in many different ways but for the sake of this essay, a good argument is one that is valid and well supported with consistency, meaning it does not contradict itself.
Lastly, rationalization is a way someone justifies their actions.
A rational argument is an argument that follows the basic rules of logic and reason. For example, if I say "all men are mortal, Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal" the basics of logic has been kept making the statement I said logical hence a rational argument. On the contrary, rationalization is the process of how someone attempts to justify their actions, after having done it. Therefore, the two ideas are very different although many times it is mistaken to be similar because they both contain the word rational. In short, the main difference is that a rational argument is one that is logical with evidence that can support it's...