The Reason… After I wrote my thoughts on intelligence I realized that I have not understood the line between reason and intelligence very well.

I would like to immediately admit that Victor Hugo played a role in the chaos I experienced. In his novel “Les Miserables” the Master always glorified intelligence and never talked about reason… However, when I think about it, I’d say that for example to draw conclusions from the connections between events and facts that can be useful to the whole of humanity, is not so much the work of intelligence but that of reason. To discover E=mc2 is the work of intelligence but it is clear that to use it to create an atom bomb and drop it on humanity is not the work of the reason. If we look at it from a different angle, I could say that reason is a mental system that tries to capture causality. To ask “why do we exist” is not the work of the intelligence but that of reason. For a Marxist to understand fundamental causality may be establishing class consciousness, for someone else, original causality is to do with God. In conclusion, the desire to capture causality allows you to see the bigger picture. A Marxist would say ‘class struggle’; someone who believes in God would see his Creator in the bigger picture. This is called the absolute mind of the universe. In other words, the mind exists in order to understand class struggle from an evolutionary point of view… Or if you are a believer, the mind has been created and given as a gift to humans in order to understand God. At this point I remember a story. A revolution takes place in a country. The Committee Council sentences one person from each revolutionary group to death by guillotine as a deterrent to others. First in line is the priest. The public executioner cuts the rope, but millimetres before the priest’s head the guillotine blade suddenly stops. This creates excitement and fear in the audience. The priest is God’s beloved servant… He is released. The same happens to the doctor. He is protected by God because of the good deeds he performed… Then it is the engineer’s turn. He turns his eyes to the guillotine and shouts “the reason is obvious! A screw is loose, I can see it!”. The man is intelligent but there are doubts about his reason. So we could say that reason is something that shows us how to use the intelligence… Reason is always good; it searches for the good… I remember a part in the Koran where there is mention of a dialogue between a person very valuable in the presence of God and another person. The wise man says “…you will find it hard to follow my path!” When the other one insists he adds: “but I killed my child”. The man is surprised and asks “how can that be?” The wise man answers “because if my child had lived he would have caused great calamities!” One tends to reason that if it had been known when Hitler was a child what calamities he would cause, what would have been the best thing to do. One tends to reason… – this shows that even if reason does something that appears to be bad it aims at something good. The intelligence does not have such concerns… In the light of all this, I am able to say that “a serial killer may be intelligent but he is surely without reason!” Again, as any professor of philosophy knows well, there are many students who although highly intelligent are unable to produce the simplest philosophical reasoning… In brief, I say, intelligence is something that can be measured but it is not possible to measure reason… Lastly I would like to mention a determination of mine. Contrary to Master Hugo, the Koran ennobles reason and mentions at least fifty times the phrase “I have given you reason!”, without mentioning even the first letter “i” of intelligence. I would like to end my writing by saying that your contributions are invaluable… I eagerly await your comments. I know that we all wish to develop our reasoning mind a lot further with regard to this fundamental question of philosophy…

Prof. Dr. Kemal Arıkan