...now that so many otherwise intelligent people are embracing unreason as the answer to all those problems that really have no easy answer. But so it goes.
Unfortunately, there's a fine line between belief and mania. ...
I suspect that you may have drawn that line in possibly the "wrong" place.
is defined as:
1 an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. Ø a firmly held opinion or conviction. Ø a religious conviction.
2 (belief in) trust or confidence in.
– PHRASES beyond belief astonishing; incredible.
– ORIGIN ME: alt. of OE gelUafa; cf. believe.
Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th Ed.)
- then it is, by definition, irrational/unreason (where unreason is a state of absurdity).
Thus, the dividing line is arguably properly between the domains of reason
, where unreason could perhaps be said to extend from curable irrationality (by use of reason) through to incurable mania, and there's no real dividing line between those two things, being merely degrees of irrationality and where the latter is merely an extreme state of irrationality.
Examples of this latter state can be seen where people might speak from a paradigm where they perceive, for example:
"Humanity has wrecked the planet and is the problem that needs fixing."
"Humanity is a cancer on the earth."
A psychiatrist might probably suggest that these paradigms could arise from belief (which is irrational, QED) and possibly coupled with a legacy of poor self-image and a sense of hopelessness inflicted by an unhappy experience of childhood upbringing or teaching.
Regardless of however such an irrational paradigm might
have been arrived at, the ego of the person involved would generally be incapable of digging itself out of what is effectively an imagined and illusory state of association, and so the illusion seems very real and is defended almost to the death. De Bono discusses this in his book "Teaching Thinking". It is intellectual deadlock and can be a causal factor in our inability to change and develop
. We become literally "stuck", and perceive no possible room or need for our change/improvement. A profound example of this could be that of the Nazi war criminal Rudolf Höss
...Consider how an otherwise apparently nice, normal family man in the military - Rudolf Höss - could also happily undertake the role as the Commandant of the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi Germany. Höss' autobiography, written whilst he was awaiting execution after the trial for war crimes, indicates that he was unable to see that he had been doing anything other than "just doing his job" to the best of his ability.
Following on from the Höss example above, there is evidence that Höss was able to eventually consciously shatter the illusion and begin his own path to spiritual development when, four days before he was hanged, he sent a message to the state prosecutor, including these comments:
"My conscience compels me to make the following declaration. In the solitude of my prison cell I have come to the bitter recognition that I have sinned gravely against humanity. As Commandant of Auschwitz I was responsible for carrying out part of the cruel plans of the "Third Reich" for human destruction. In so doing I have inflicted terrible wounds on humanity. I caused unspeakable suffering for the Polish people in particular. I am to pay for this with my life. May the Lord God forgive one day what I have done."