Beyond the Limits of Rationality
The deployment of rationality can be limited by the lack of knowledge. But it can also be limited by the nature of the topic itself, although we have difficulties accepting that in an era so pre-eminently informed by the rational. The analysis of immortality suffers from both limitations, lack of knowledge and a subject which defies, to some extent, rational analysis. It can be argued that the issues on information deficits, and the imperfection of decision-making on that basis, take second place to the more fundamental problem of whether immortality can be rationally dealt with at all. We might have to resort to common sense to overcome limitations, although common sense often has led humankind astray. But the thinking on immortality must include a high degree of listening to our ‘inner voices’. When all is said and done our choices on immortality must, with a nod to David Hume, be driven by the passions, but be informed by the facts, and must heed not only the passion for survival but the whole panoply of passions, for renewal and off-spring, for beauty and the finite, for rest and release!