Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews Between the Lines

A fully rational life

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b74 (Published 14 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b74

Rationality and Reality

As the most intelligent species, we are prone to hubris and self-deception. We
tend to equate our intelligence with honesty, rationality, and infallibility,
although our history is replete with quite the opposite. We seem to forget that
life is often overwhelming, and that we are constantly tempted by escapism. So
as we advance our science, technology, and belief systems, we must be humbly
mindful of our many shortcomings and question our assumptions about reality.
Let’s remember the insightful words of T.S. Eliot, who said,”Humanity cannot
bear very much reality."

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 April 2009
Hugh Mann
Physician
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA