Ladies and Gentlemen!
The Jogja Debating Handbook is a debating manual authored by a team of seniors of Jogja Debating Forum, chaired by myself. As of now, we have already launched the second edition in 2012. Currently, though, we are constructing a third edition! There are going to be major changes in this third edition, inshaa Allah it could be launched in 2-3 months.
Here is a sample of whats new from the third edition, just one part from a whole new chapter. Enjoy and sit tight 🙂
THE IRRATIONALITY OF RATIONALISM: AN ALTERNATE APPROACH IN THE DECONSTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF ARGUMENTS
THE IRONY OF RATIONALITY
Throughout the history of mankind, there has been a noticeable development of way of thinking. At the start, we used mystics to explain natural phenomena. However as humanity developed over time, philosophy was introduced with mathematics, science, empiricism, providing something we generally concede to be a better explanation to those phenomena. This process has generally caused people to leave the mystical explanations behind and move to accept rational explanation.
Mysticism, which usually comes from or forms religions, are then faced with a new challenge. Some religions managed to show that their coherence with science and human development (or that such development is still limited within what their God permits), some manage to convince their believers to separate logic and faith, others simply loose faith and leave their religions. This section is not intended to argue on religion, but to examine this phenomenon: some ideas are seen as rational, and others as irrational –and mankind today seem to have a tendency to prefer rational explanations than that of irrational ones. Even further, something irrational is always judged as something bad.
The irony, as this section wishes to propose, is that the truth is that nothing is truly rational. Even rationalism stands on an irrational premise. For an explanation to be rational, it means that such an explanation must adhere to means that are considered rational (an example would be deduction, as explained in a previous section). But in order to accept that, one must assume and accept first that ‘everything must be rational’. This area is very vague, but to accept such a statement rationally would mean that you have accepted rationality first, which is then self defeating. Keep on asking ‘why’ to a statement, and getting your answer ask another ‘why’, on and on, and you will end up with something you have no explanation to other than ‘well, because, just because’.
An example to this would be in answering the following question: “to which direction will a ball fall to if you casually drop it: up, down, or sideways (either left or right)?”.
A very simple answer would be: down. But this only true when we assume and accept that the ground is beneath, and the sky is above, and since the ball falls towards the ground (down beneath) instead of the sky (up above) thus it falls down. But putting in mind that we are in Indonesia and gravity pulls towards earth (check where Indonesia is on the globe, its on the side part of earth), the rational conclusion is that the ball will fall sideways.
But then, that is only true if we assume and accept that the north pole is “up above” and the south pole is “down below”, just like how the globes are usually place on our tables (or sometimes with certain angle). We can always go on and on and never end, so then we simply assume a basic premise to be true first, and then we rationalize from there.
Having that said, this section proposes that any rational idea will always be based on an irrational assumption.
Not that this statement is wrong, and not that this is true either, as it all ends up with an irrational assumption anyways. This section will explain how the cognizance of such could be utilized as an advantage in constructing and deconstructing an argument. A new assumption would be taken, that something irrational is not necessarily bad.