The Main Problems of Rationalism

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Rationalism goes by the idea of questioning everything. This method can be extreme in some aspects, meaning that certain things may be denied such as the senses, including taste, smell, vision and sound. It also tends to use mathematical principles to explain the world in which we live in; examples include equations modeled for change in climate, the economy and population, but math cannot be used to understand every single aspect of life. Many rationalists also believe in the concept of perfectionism, in which there is perfect order and everything works out the way we would like it to. The biggest problem with Rationalism’s ideology however, is its strong use of skepticism, everything around us does not have to be questioned, but rather understand through simple observation. An important concept in Rationalism is that of innate ideas. This explains that we are “born” with certain ideas or talents and some are universally true, which is why we are said to be good at certain activities. From personal experience, it’s like saying you are naturally good at math, but for years I was horrible at math until I had the right teachers in high school and college overall. John Locke explained that “All ideas come from sensations or reflection” (Soccio 281). This means that our knowledge is gained through the senses, rather than already embedded in us. If innate ideas were to actually exist, there would be no gain of specific knowledge individually, as none of it would be new to us. All knowledge or talents are gained from learning the basics of life, and experiences. Perfectionism of the mind is a goal rationalists try to strive for. Perhaps the main problem with this concept is that it promotes over achievement on everything we do. For many... ... middle of paper ... one position alone. Rationalism uses and accepts the ideas that are believed to be true all the time, but the problem is denying those that have the slightest bit of doubt. (253) It is okay to be skeptical of certain aspects, but not when you deny everything. Rationalism can be quite difficult to follow, because it’s is fairly challenging to deny your surroundings and partially true facts. It is also problematic as it emphasizes that facts are completely correct before they are accepted or they are denied, an example of perfectionism. Empiricism explains life in a much better aspect, rather than using reason to explain the world, senses and experiences help to explain what we have been through. Our world cannot be explained through assumptions only, perhaps we can combine the idea process with the ideas of empiricism to help us further understand life in general.
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