I know it seems like we are using our magnificent powers of deduction,
logic and abstract reasoning skills, but like all our brilliant scientific apparatus, and I hate to say this because I know this feeds the science deniers, that what we call rational is only approximately so.
Just as we live in our 3D universe where all dimensions are nicely homogenous, it is purely our brain turning our Reimann space into a nice cartesian space for us. And we know this is true because we know the earth is round. We know space is curved by the mass of objects in space, our powers of rational thought proved it to us, but nevertheless we live in Cartesian world because our brains make it so.
Newton, brilliantly figured out the movement of objects through frictionless space, how he did that I don't know because the other way we could describe our world is friction planet. We don't live in space where our bodies find it extremely difficult to adapt to friction free. The guys on the space station just love having fun with that.
On friction planet, up always comes with gravity, hardly homogenous.
All rational decisions, all deductive reasoning, at the end of the day, comes down to preference. No one can predict all the consequences of one's actions. It's like those fictitious butterfly wings that cause that tsunami in New York or Rottadam or where ever, actions ripple out across our space-time continuum.
We think we thought of everything and trip over unintended consequences all over the place.
Besides we know that all of our logic and abstractions end up with the shaky foundations of Godel's theorem. All our systems will end up broken, whether they are economic, political, mathematical.... I'm not saying we shouldn't try, I'm just saying we need to remember that there is error involved.
There is always a measure of uncertainty. Is Schrodinger’s cat dead or not? And if we look we interfere with the experiment. I can see that? If you were told you were the guinea pig in Monsanto's experiment, how would you feel? Well you are.
Despite not knowing the answers to everything, and it is possible we will never know everything, thanks to the power of our brains to forgot what is known and that all things will never be written down somewhere handy where it can be easily found by others.
Our brains are only so good, and that makes them awesome. Our brains perfectly model our environment to within tolerance and understanding. We know how the light switch works, we know how these computers work, or not.
We are constantly overestimating our tools and how much we know. We constantly underestimate how wrong we are about everything we know.
We proudly crow about our rationality and ignore kindness and compassion. Sometimes the intelligent thing to do is to forgo rationality and think about what we are saying.