Take the Rationality Test
How I Define Logic
The Rational Do Not Rationalize
The Subconscious Changes What You See and Feel
Why Honesty Requires Logic
Linear and Non-Linear Communication
Idealism and the Optimally Ideal
Debunking the Debunkers
The Key To Improving Your Mind
Training Advanced Mental Skills
Psychological Mind Control


The Rationality Test

We All Think We're Rational

Rationality Test

Please ask yourself these questions, then note your answers. My answers immediately follow.

  1. Are you willing to question absolutely anything?
  2. Are you willing to consider plausible any theory that does not contradict?
  3. Are you willing to state as fact, only the things that you can personally prove?


Answer 1: Many things held to be true are actually not proven, and therefore might not be true. However, people who hold them as true generally don't see this point, and to them, these things appear and feel factual. There are psychological tricks in the mind that get people (most people) to not verify the information first, or to settle for illogical verification that sounds right. In order to see past this, you have to be willing to question anything to get there. These issues generally do not become visible otherwise. The subconscious mind makes them invisible, and psychological tricks motivate you to not investigate the right paths. The first question should be answered with "yes". Once you are willing to question anything, things you had no idea about before will start to become visible.

Answer 2: There are many theories about many topics. The time it takes to prove or disprove each one is oftentimes impractical. And yet, to get through the events of the day we are oftentimes in a position where we have to make decisions. And some of these times we have no choice but to depend on something other than proof in making a selection. This is where religion, culture, and mainstream, all step in and provide a large number of ready-made rationalizations. It is then easy to select a rationalization, that then makes it easy to make the decision. We have all done this from time to time, if not continuously, throughout our lives. These rationalizations oftentimes become habit, and then they are more easily taken out of context, and they are more easily triggered by manufactured context. As one of the most powerful forces in society, rationalizations are potentially very good or very dangerous because they can transfer the power of one mind to another, they can pave the way for railroading, and they can blind people to portions of reality. Rationalizations make some things invisible to the mind, or seem irrelevant, or seem invalid. To defeat this tendency a rational person must at least be open minded to any theory that does not contradict. And in many cases the observation of contradiction is also based on rationalization, therefore, a willingness to retrace the logic should also be there. Otherwise, the theory that is true, may be defeated by rationalizations, rather than by logic. The intelligent will often answer "no" to this question. However, the rational will say "yes".

Answer 3: There is a lot of information circulating as fact. However, errors may exist in several forms:

  1. the proof may be incorrect
  2. the presentation of the fact may be flawed, causing it to be taken out of context or misinterpreted
  3. the person who is stating the fact may actually be stating a belief, or something that was not proven, and yet considered fact anyway by that person
  4. the person stating the fact may actually be lying, or basing their statement on other people's lies with or without realizing it
The point being, that there is no way to be certain that something is a fact unless you go through the proof for yourself. And whenever someone says something "IS FACT", or "IS TRUE", the onus is automatically on that person to back up their statement. Their statement becomes dishonest if there is nothing to back it up. If a belief holds something to be true without proof, then it should be worded as a belief. Otherwise, it is a dishonest statement. To make it honest you could say "I believe this and that is true". In that way the audience understands it is a belief of yours. And if it is something in the past that you cannot prove now, then you should present it in terms of an observation, "I recall seeing this and that", rather than "this and that is true". Highly intelligent people may answer "no" to this question, however, I contend that to be rational one must answer "yes" to this question.

The following paragraphs go into increasing details on my reasons for saying these things.

In my opinion...

A rational person is someone who reflects and corrects. Someone who is willing to consider and reconsider the possibility that they were wrong, is capable of considering opposing view point with the same level of sincerity as their own, is willing to admit to themselves that they have bias, does not compulsively divert or transfigure questions, is capable of processing a sentence from beginning to end literally, is capable of seeing and understanding ambiguity, is willing to and capable of organizing and labeling their thoughts, is willing to and capable of considering multiple theories to explain something when none of them are yet proven exclusively true, is capable of prioritizing their actions, understands that there may be a difference between statements that appear rational and statements that are rational, and understands the differences between arguments for plausibility and proof of fact.

In the above paragraph, each statement is preceded with what I call a "qualifier". Here are the qualifiers I used: "is willing to", "is capable of", "understands that", "understands the", and "does not compulsively". Once the conditions are all true in the ways indicated by these qualifiers, I am then likely to consider that person "rational". (The Rationality Test tests your willingness to be rational, while the preceding paragraph describes what some of your rational actions may look like.)

In my definition for the word "rational", it has become a work in progress, rather than a state of perfection that few if any humans have any hope of attaining. You could also say that my definition for the word "rational", is marked by the actions and thoughts of any person who is not held back, in the continual process of becoming more logical, except through conscious tentative compromise resulting from logical prioritization.

These "rational" humans (by my definition) are people who are likely to take seriously any argument if properly presented and relevant to their interests.

It is at this point where people with opposing viewpoint have the greatest chance to come to genuine agreement. And where the remaining disagreement (if any) will most likely be explained through well communicated subjective opinion, rather than some combination of subjective opinion, illogical thinking, and miscommunication.

It is much easier for rational people to respect each other's differences. This is because the debating parties are able to effectively convey their reasoning, and because they each learn a rational angle to the opposing opinions. Once an opposing viewpoint appears rational it is then far more likely to be treated with respect, even if the disagreement persists.

Whenever one or more parties involved in a dialogue are irrational, it is then very difficult and sometimes impossible to tell the difference between language semantics, illogical thinking, and subjective opinion. Any combination of the three could account for the disagreement.

Now, let's get back to the three questions for the Rationality Test...

Consider this: in order to either learn something new or unlearn something that's wrong, you must be willing to ask yourself questions to get to a point of understanding it. If someone simply tells you something is true and you then [as if in a reflex action] recite this thing as though you know it, you are NOT advancing your thinking. Learning without pondering will result in conditioning, or worse yet, "programming". Whereas learning WITH pondering - which requires asking yourself questions about it - will result in increased levels of understanding. Without a willingness to question, it is impossible for the mind to advance its understanding.

My biggest beef with the education system is that it generally does not distinguish between these methods for learning, and instead leaves it up to the individual teacher. Plus, logic is generally considered an advanced subject that hardly anyone takes. As a result of these flaws in the education system, we now have well educated people walking around who have to be retrained anytime their technology is updated, and we have PhD's who don't know the difference between plausible and factual. A society consisting mostly of people with these conditions is highly dependent on the system as it works now, and has a very hard time understanding new systems thinking.

New systems thinking will nearly always exist outside peoples' "mind box". This is because rationalizations block their view of it. To them it is impossible, because it seems to consist of irrelevant and/or invalid details. These people (nearly everyone) can only see, understand and appreciate incremental improvements to society. Exceptionally eccentric yet intelligent individuals will from time-to-time see past this. And, rational individuals, with enough effort will also see past this. New systems thinking involves a group of innovations, which individually will not work, or will not deliver the claims intended, yet together, these innovations may work. Only a few have the patience, and/or eccentricity, and/or level of rational thinking necessary to invent new systems thinking. Yet, once delivered, a generation or two later and everyones' rationalizations will have been rewritten to make the new way of doing things second nature to all.

It all starts with a willingness to question. Without this, a mind does not advance its understanding, AND is more easily controlled by others. To be controlled by popular, cultural, religious, mainstream, and even political rationalizations.

The main idea to a rationalization may be right on, however, this should not divert your attention away from the innaccuracies built into the wording - this is the part that manufactures subconscious bias.

To be rational, logic also demands that we have an open mind. This does not mean open to contradiction, instead it means open to any and all theory that is plausible. And you can't be open minded if you're not willing to listen to or consider the angles to an opposing viewpoint. It is easy to get so wrapped up in your own viewpoint that you cannot allow room in your thinking to consider a different viewpoint. For most people it takes some discipline to get over this, to genuinely consider someone else's way to look at something.

And the more wrapped up you are in your own opinion the easier it is to accidentally misinterpret someone else's opinion. And this of course frustrates the person you're communicating with as they are wondering how to get you to see their point, while you are likely wondering why they keep repeating the same statements.

So to truly be open minded one must be willing to take a step down from the ego-energy trip of one's own opinion so as to gain a broader perspective on the situation so that it is then possible to hear what the other person is saying. And also to take a flexible position on language semantics wherever ambiguities exist, which requires an ability to seek out and discover ALL potential interpretations of someone's words, while following contextual and linguistic clues carefully in the process of narrowing it down to the specific meaning or meanings intended by the speaker. NOT doing this paves the way for subconscious bias to "push" a wrong interpretation of the speaker's words. When the speaker says "A", the listener hears "B", over and over again, compulsively.

Most people are consciously biased when it comes to their personal opinions about things. However, this phenomenon comes from subconscious bias. And the more emotion the stronger the subconscious bias. In a way this makes us human and is a part of what we call "life". However, the subconscious is a powerful force, and is likely doing things that you had no idea about...

The subconscious mind automatically plays down the relevancy of and/or validity of facts that do not support your subconscious bias, while automatically playing up the relevancy and validity of facts that do. This is one way that the subconscious mind manages to "trick" the conscious mind into thinking that it was logical.

I know that most readers did not get that the above really happens to them, so let me say it a different way: Subconscious bias FORCES most minds, even high IQ logical minds, to see some information as contradictory, as nonsense, as lies, as errors, as excuses, and this gets them to automatically disregard the information without even giving the conscious mind the opportunity to process it logically. EVEN OTHERWISE RATIONAL THINKERS WILL DO THIS WITHOUT A CLUE THAT THEY JUST DID IT. Occassionally, the process is partially conscious, where you will actually see a conflicting issue with the information, then use that to disregard it. However, subconscious bias did not allow the full logical process to occur. It at most only allowed a conscious realization of a conflict, NOT a logical process to determine each potential cause for that conflict.

Picture a court room. The defendant keeps saying what seems like total nonsense, or he seems to be making up lies. Everyone else is making sense. The verdict is that he's guilty. He goes to jail. This happens over and over in court, when the truth was often the other way around. Even with very smart otherwise unbiased jurors doing their best to sort through the facts. I explain how this works, step-by-step on this website.

You can be "very logical" relative to the facts that are played up, and simultaneously be blind to the facts that were played down, thus making the conclusion illogical while appearing and seeming logical. This is a subtle trick that is so common that I'm convinced that it plays out almost continuously in most people's minds. It is a phenomenon that automatically reinforces and expands on railroading tactics, can be triggered through a process I call "Psychological Mind Control", and greatly strengthens the hurdles within society that hinder change for the better.

And where I said "trick" (four paragraphs back), I meant "side-effect": wherever the conscious mind accepts an assumption INADVERTENTLY, the subconscious will NOT treat it as an assumption. Instead, the subconscious treats it as A REALITY-DEFINING FACT that is processed automatically from that point forward, transfiguring your perceptions and experiences of reality to fit the assumption. This is the mental phenomenon that causes all the trouble.

The mind treats it as true because you said it was true, and it is subconscious because the assumption was inadvertent. Together, these cause an automated transfiguration of all experiences from that point forward that relate by association. In other words: delusion. This type of delusion may include any combination of emotions, concepts, pictures, sounds, psychological barriers in thinking, abilities, and inabilities.

And this is THE key reason why railroading tactics are so easily implemented. Here's how it works...

The railroading master will follow three simple rules:

  1. use ALL the railroading tactics necessary to paint a CONSISTENT PICTURE of the intended verdict
  2. while presenting this information using words, pictures, and formalities that PROVOKE SUBCONSCIOUS BIAS favoring the intended verdict
  3. while leaving NO VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE contrary to the intended verdict.

It is easy to rationalize and tell yourself that if the cop were dirty, he might twist a couple points, but not the whole thing. However, the opposite is the truth. If they know how to railroad, they will either go all in or all out. Either railroading every step necessary to paint a consistent picture, or not at all. This is because they know you'll make that rationalization.

For most people, the context for interpretting each point is the "consistent picture" that was manufactured. And subconscious bias will automatically play up the facts that fit that context. These facts will be "clear as day" in their minds, with all sorts of gut feelings and emotions supporting them. And their subconscious minds will automatically play down the facts that don't fit that context. These will not appear as facts, but rather as errors, nonsense, irrelevant points, excuses, and lies. This tricky phenomenon will get an entire court room to ignore the facts that contradict the intended verdict. There could be dozens of real errors in the reports, and there could be several plausible theories contrary to the verdict, and yet it won't make a bit of difference. Mistakes in reporting will most likely NOT be noticed, and when/if they are noticed they will appear as innocent human error. And all plausible theory to the contrary is choked off by a process I call "subconscious transfiguration".

If it is hard to believe that this is possible, then think back to the last time you were a juror to a case that was lost by a person representing him/herself. Then ask yourself objective questions as to why the defendant's story didn't make any sense. Why was it contradictory? Why did it sound like nonsense? Regardless of his/her skill or lack of skill in presentation, his/her story just did not add up. It sounded like excuses, lies, as contradicting nonsense. Now ask yourself why he/she would bother going through a court case with a bunch of nonsense? Then as difficult as this may seem: ask yourself "what if" to some or all of the prosecutor's statements, and the evidence presented. "What if" those were actually lies, or in error? Or worse yet, "what if" railroading tactics were used at every step of the process to paint a consistent picture of the intended verdict? THEN would the defendant's story still be contradictory?

The main thing to look for is logistics. People who railroad generally do NOT include logistics in their statements, while people resisting railroading generally DO find logistics problems with the case. Try to avoid bias and think clearly about these logistics issues. Try using just what you hear from the defendant as context, ignoring what you hear from all other sources. See if it starts to make sense that way.

Did the officer have a reputation for being honest? Did he seem honest? Probably "yes" and "yes" on that one, but probably NOT because he was honest by your definition of honesty. It is often the officer with a great reputation who is the most skilled at railroading, and the best at rationalizing these actions as honest. He is good natured, smooth talking, polite, and everyone likes him. That is all part of the railroading.

In nearly every case involving well constructed railroading tactics, the manufactured consistent picture and the special wording that provoked subconscious bias, controlled the outcome. Not the facts.

Then there are the "band wagon white lie contributors". These are people who bought into the manufactured picture, and contributed a white lie to it to "help out" in pushing forward the "truth". These people are willing to at a drop of the hat add a white lie to help something along that they believe in. These people are the same people that are all around us that we call "normal people". And this "band wagon white lie" act of theirs results in a snowballing effect to build up the railroading process.

Additionally, people who are counted as credible observers will already have transformed what they saw through subconscious bias that was already present in their minds. And their biased testimony is then counted as credible by others. It happens in court. And it happens in every day events where one person tells another person what happened.

Meanwhile if the defendant testifies, he/she has already been discredited, as this is one of the primary objectives to railroading.

Subconscious bias combines with railroading tactics to limit the list of plausible theory. This is the primary aim to railroading. Once the theories that are true are choked off, then the intended verdict is counted as true due to the "without a doubt" clause, or due to the falsified evidence that is counted as proof.

These processes are normally invisible to nearly if not all people in the court room, including most judges. Not because these are dumb people, but rather its because of the psychological tricks described above. Then at the end of the case, they all go home with the sense that they set things straight, though the truth was oftentimes the opposite of this.

Any legal system that does not focus on logistically sound accountability and on context-normalization in all case materials, is like a 10 lane freeway paving the way for story telling, bias and railroading to dominate the outcome. And even though forensics can improve the situation, without logistically sound accountability it is more likely to facilitate even more powerful railroading. And this will happen BOTH as a result of dishonest law enforcement officials, AND as a result of subconscious bias in otherwise honest people.

In the olden days there were frequent hangings, burning people at the stake, and various other things that we consider horrible and irrational today.

Today we have the same DNA in our brains, and therefore the same capacity for delusion that we did then. The difference is that today we have science and logic to help get us on the same page of understanding. And we have media helping to shed light on things of this nature, with real-time news, and with movies that induce compassion and understanding. These factors are the ONLY real difference between what and who we are now, as compared to what and who we were then.

The capacity for delusion has not changed. What has changed is the environment that induces it. And as a result it is now a far more sophisticated delusion. And even with an abundant supply of individuals who understand logic, this more sophisticated delusion will abound as a result of the automatic subconscious choking off of plausible theory, resulting from the subconscious transformation of facts into nonsense and lies, and the perception of contradictions that aren't really there.

[To give you an idea of the specific logic fallacies that tend to prevail in railroading scenarios, I've compiled this list. However, this list only includes the ones that I consider common to railroading. Any logic fallacy may be used in railroading: "Negative proof", "false dichotomy", "ignoratio elenchi", "masked man", "package-deal", "affirming the consequent", "denying the antecedent", "affirming a disjunct", "existential fallacy", "proof by example", "appeal to ridicule", "begging the question", "circular cause and consequence", "correlation does not imply causation", "equivocation", "fallacy of division", "fallacy of many questions", "fallacy of the single cause", "false attribution", "contextomy", "false compromise", "incomplete comparison", "inconsistent comparison", "Loki's Wager", "moving the goalpost", "post hoc ergo propter hoc", "prosecutor's fallacy", "psychologist's fallacy", "regression fallacy", "reification", "special pleading", "suppressed correlative", "wrong direction", "accident fallacy", "no true Scotsman", "cherry picking", "composition", "false analogy", "hasty generalization", "overwhelming exception", "thought-terminating cliche", "ad hominem", "appeal to the people", "appeal to authority", "appeal to consequences", "appeal to emotion", "appeal to motive", "argument from silence", "appeal to tradition", "judgemental language", "poisoning the well", "straw man argument", "style over substance", "tu quoque", and "definist fallacy". Any specific railroading process is likely to involve a combination of several of these to illogically restrict the list of plausible theories, choking them off so that the ones that are true look no more true than utter nonsense. You don't have to learn all these complicated sounding logic terms to be able to understand it. You can if you want, and that would be great if you do. However, if you are capable of reasoning through things with a rational clear mind then you are likely to understand a lot of these on your own without knowing what they are called. What I'm trying to accomplish at this website is to take a step back to look more quantitatively at the big picture. To see what is really going on. And to show how otherwise "very logical people" can be so "very illogical" when specific psychological tricks get in the way.]

There are a lot of things circulating as "fact" throughout society. Instead of calling all of these "fact", why not label them according to what you know: "considered fact by mainstream", "considered fact by my religion", "considered fact by my friend", etc. By labeling them this way your mind does something totally unexpected. It starts to upgrade. The trick is to ALWAYS label information correctly, each time you say it, speak it, write it or put it to use. When you do this, and when you follow the rules explained above for rational thought, your mind will start to upgrade, and it will continue to upgrade indefinitely. Psychological problems will start to sort out, indecision, motivational issues, ability to focus, intellect, confidence, strategic planning, problem solving, etc. A plan for this is explained in more detail later.

Human nature is not necessarily opposed to logic. What is really happening is a very subtle programming process that takes place without most peoples' awareness of this process. And its this programming that can work into us tendencies to be illogical. Master the programming and you master the tendencies.

I have met many people who claim to be logical. People with multiple PhDs, people who have prestigious positions in large companies. Successful people. People in authority over other people. Educators. And other independent thinkers. Yet nearly all of them failed my test.

Logic demands that I listen carefully and sincerely to any opposing viewpoint regarding this test. And I have done so for several years, hearing numerous reasons why my test is wrong, and yet I have not heard a single reason that held up to logic. So I'm convinced that this is a good test. Just the same, in order to be logical, I cannot close that door. So I will perpetually welcome any and all objections to the validity of this test.

Granted, language semantics are often an issue, and so I'll attempt to clarify in new wording what I mean...

In the first question, I'm asking whether or not you are willing to look at any notion to ask yourself questions about any part of it. This includes previous conclusions, and quite literally, anything you can think about.

If it is too hard to ask yourself whether or not a particular thought is correct, then consider questioning how you word it. Try making the wording more accurate. This method is quite effective at exposing the illogical.

In the second question, I'm asking whether or not you are willing to consider the possibility that any theory that does not contradict MIGHT be true (as distinctly different from IS true). And when I say "contradict", I mean either with itself, or with anything that you can personally prove. Until one theory to explain something is proven exclusively true, a willingness to consider ALL plausible theory regarding that thing is necessary.

And in the third question, I'm asking whether or not you state as "fact" ONLY the things that you can personally prove. This allows for a distinction between things that are proven by others who might be wrong (mistaken or lying), and proven by yourself (putting the onus on you for anything that you call a "fact"). In my opinion this is a BIG part of being honest. I'll explain more about that point later.

I've found very few people will say "yes" to all three questions. And yet this is required of anyone who wishes to be rational. Saying "no" to any one of these questions opens a flood-gate of illogical notions that will persist for as long as that gate stays open.

Our minds work by association, not by logic. We have to program ourselves with the rules for logic before that is a part of our thinking. And though many people get part way into that programming, very few are willing to be completely rational. And, due to complications caused by inadvertent assumption (explained above), this results in delusion. Inevitably, all humans that are not rational are delusional. And since my definition for being rational only amounts to a willingness to become more logical, not a state of perfection, the rational may not always see things perfectly either.

Let's go over those questions one more time...

Regarding the first question, if there is something that you are not willing to question, then that either means that you have already formed a conclusion about it, or you don't have enough time, or you don't care, or you don't dare.

And, if you previously formed a conclusion about it, then it may seem to make sense that it does not have to be questioned again. However, if you made a mistake in the process of forming that conclusion, then it is likely that you won't find this mistake until you are willing to question it again. Therefore, its a good idea to at least be willing to question anything again.

And the other three reasons may be born out of a practical motivation resulting from circumstances. Regardless of the reason, not having a willingness to question something is a hinderance to logic, much like a brick wall.

Regarding the second question, if a theory does not contradict with any of its assumptions, nor with any fact (that you can personally prove), then it IS rational to consider it plausible, and IS NOT rational to disregard it. Illogical disregard for plausible theory is very common, even amongst experts, and it is the primary objective to railroading. One of the biggest reasons someone might illogically disregard a theory is subconscious bias.

Subconscious bias manipulates the minds of even the smartest individuals, getting them to play down relevant facts without realizing it (because this can still seem logical). And in doing so, some plausible theory may be illogically ruled out.

Another way that bias limits plausible theory is through the intersections of over generalizations. This will cause the perception of contradictions that aren't really there. This is because over generalizations include more scope than they should, which makes possible intersections to rules that would not intersect if they were instead accurate generalizations. And this results in an increased opportunity for contradiction. These contradictions are then perceived as real, and then used as reasons, to rule out otherwise plausible theory. Bias tends to illogically limit the list of plausible theories through the perception of contradictions that aren't really there, and are due instead to conflicting intersections of illogical over generalizations and assumptions.

Therefore, in matters of great importance (I'm not going into the individual topics), unbiased individuals capable of critical thought and yet extremely open to hearing out any and all theories that do not contradict, should be the ones listing the plausible theories for consideration. Additionally, these experts should be capable of seeing the same thing from various perspectives, most importantly these perspectives should reveal the lines of function that intersect with the issue, as these are not necessarily the same as the perspectives expressed in presentation. Unfortunately these experts are rare, AND, the processes that require them generally do not come with acknowledgement of such need. However, for any society to function fairly, comprehensively and intelligently, these people are necessary. And numerous processes should require their help.

It seems that the harder law writers try to find concise wording for laws, that more perfectly express a fair representation of the intentions for each law, that the more logistics issues are produced, as these perspectives are not a complete picture of the function of law. The missing component is logistics. To correctly formulate legal coding requires BOTH legal experts AND logistics experts to come to agreement on such wording.

Logistics experts are necessary in writing legal code that is capable of naturally shedding off a majority of railroading tactics, and they are necessary in many other areas of society as well.

Without these "logistics experts" positioned everywhere that there is need for them, subconscious bias and railroading will inevitably take control of such a large percentage of issues, that very little about society will actually function as advertised. Instead, it will function only in as much as commonplace delusion matches what is advertised.

Regarding the third question, the only facts that YOU can be sure about are those that YOU can prove. This is because there is always a possibility that someone else's verification was wrong (whether it be intentional or unintentional). It doesn't matter the source. Logic does not care about credentials, authority, nor belief. Logic is logic.

Additional rationality tests...

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