How vs. Why

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Man is a rationalizing animal, not a rational animal. It is the struggle to live a rational life that marks the evolved human.

“Why” is not the question to ask ourselves, but rather “how’. By understanding “how”, we will come to understand the correct answer to “why’. The default search for “why” leads to answers that are simplistic and which have emotional roots, the base of which we are often blind or unaware off.

Religion is an example of what the simplistic search for “why” leads to. Once the “answer” has been supplied via dogma, thinking shuts down and the ability to even see alternatives is cutoff. Only by using ‘how’ as our guide can envision the alternatives that could exist.

In early/primitive society with small numbers of individuals, “why” provides the simple answers that allowed for survival. Even if the explanation is wrong, the speed and immediate benefit of the answer is more important than the accuracy when survival is at stake.

For example – “Why was Zog killed by lightening!?”, “Because the Thunder God is angry! When the Thunder God shouts it is time to hide in the cave!”

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