Q1. What does the Center for a Reasoning Society do?

A. Center for a Reasoning Society (CFARS) is a diverse group of

people with diverse interests, who have a common

interest in the promotion of reason in personal lives and

society in general. Based on our Mission and specific

aims, MOR promotes the use of reason through

resources on this website, through CFARS Chapters,

humanitarian efforts, special interest groups, the Citizens

of the World club for kids, and other activities

Q2. What is Reason?

A. CFARS isn’t trying to promote any

particular rigid style of reasoning. We use the common

understanding of the term that generally means

methodically considering things without demanding a

preconceived result, but instead trying to work towards

better understanding and therefore better decisions. It is

in one way the opposite of rationalization, which is just

using argument to defend a point that one is unwilling to

fairly question but wants other to believe. Reason is also

in a way the opposite of fundamentalism, in which people

assert that there are fundamental assertions that we must

just “accept as true” without understanding and that the

only way we can do this is to mentally force ourselves to

believe uncritically. Usually in fundamentalism there is

some authority that we aren’t allowed to critically examine

telling us what to think. Reasoning can be done alone,

but it is tangibly seen and developed through the social

interaction we use to resolve disagreements in perception

and expectations. That process is initiated when

someone is skeptical (again, just the ordinary use of the

word) of an idea and wants an explanation to understand

it more before agreeing or disagreeing. This interaction

includes a coming to consensus of common methods of

investigation that include stating what is not acceptable

(fallacies of argument), developing systems for

corroborating evidence, refining testing practices, and

the like, all of which we are constantly trying to improve.

CFARS doesn’t claim that reasoning can help people find

some abstract “absolute truth” but it does promote the

active use of reasoning as a way to help us resolve

differences and clear up misconceptions. It helps us

think better as individuals, as societies, and as a planet.

Q3 What about emotions?

A. Reason is not a suppression of emotions, but our

conscious method of resolving different emotions, habits,

assumptions, memories, and desires. Intuition is the

subconscious method for doing that, and plays an

integral part in our daily lives too, but we should choose

reason whenever possible to move decision-making from

the subconscious to the conscious, where that process

can be evaluated and improved in a self-aware way. In

social decisions, reason is preferable to other emotionally

charged methods of resolving decisions, like intimidation,

rumor, peer pressure, insistence of authority or other

irrational methods of persuasion. CFARS provides an

emotionally enriching environment in which to nurture

rational, effective, and personally fulfilling mental habits.