logical - reasonable - moderate - normal - dispassionate - compassionate - empathetic - judicious

Logical is not the same as reasonable.  If a person is being "logical," they take their thoughts all the way to their only logical conclusion, mechanically, like a machine.  This may make them seem "extreme".  

If a person is being "reasonable," they hold themselves back from these kinds of drastic conclusions.  They try to moderate their ideas, to find a "happy medium" - or a range of reasonable opinions.  

But where, exactly is this happy medium?  For a person who is being logical, the concept of where one should hold oneself back from following a series of derivations to their final theora makes no sense and seems perfectly arbitrary.  

If a person is being "normal," they follow the general consensus of people around them.  This is often how people determine where to establish the boundaries of moderation.  What may seem to be the "natural" midpoint between extremes is often determined mostly by cultural norms.  Thus "reasonableness" is, itself, often a position of moderation between logic and normalcy.  

But this brings up another dimension of all this, because often when people talk about being "logical" or "reasonable," what they mean is that the person is unemotional.  This is where being "dispassionate" comes into question.  What does that mean, exactly, though?  In my opinion, there is no sharp division between thought and emotion.  In that sense, anyone who has thoughts has emotions as well.  Thus, it's not a question, so much of being emotional or not - it's a question of which emotions are involved.  Which emotions, precisely, are the problem?  Serenity and poise don't seem like major obstacles to reasonableness (though that may not be entirely true - maybe they can be obstacles to reasonableness, in their own way).  In any case, being angry, wrathful, vindictive, envious, resentful, hateful, afraid, panicked, greedy, overly attached, judgemental, or prejudiced seem like much bigger challenges to reasonableness.  

Can compassion be a counter-measure to prejudice, fear, anger, and the other emotions that are obstacles to reasonableness?  Compassion, which is the active counterpart to empathy, the fundamental power that underlies it, is the primary means by which a person can detect the cultural consensus, the norms that help them determine the range of moderate opinions and thus where logical chains of thought should be cut short.

Not only is the "happy medium" difficult to determine through precise logic, but exactly where this "happy medium" is keeps shifting.  As societies evolve historically, norms change, and thus what is considered normal changes.  As a result, the range of reasonable opinions moves accordingly.  What is the direction of causation here?  If enough people are willing to take logic further in the direction of its conclusion, the range of reasonableness could be pushed along a little further in the logical direction.  Norms thus adjust themselves to adapt to accept more of what logic dictates.  But causation can work in the opposite direction, as well.  Social normals can determine what is considered moderate, and thus affect the range of reasonableness.  How far does this chain of causation go?  Can it affect logic itself?  Logic, after all, is something that is generally done in language, or at least in some kind of symbol system, that uses some kind of conventional rules.  I'll leave this as an open question for now.

The comprehension of all of the above comprises judiciousness.  To be judicious is the opposite of being judgemental, though they both mean "what judges do."

An example, which is a case in point: the recent progress in the liberation of trans and nonbinary people.  In the 1990s, gay marriage was opposed even by most Democratic politicians, and the rights of trans and nonbinary people were hardly even the focus of mainstream debate.  Trans and nonbinary people - or anyone who for whatever reason did not appear to conform to rigid artificial stereotypes of masculinity and femininity - were ridiculed, demeaned, and hated performatively even in mainstream liberal media - think of the "It's Pat" skits on SNL - and the struggle for their recognition as people was scarcely even thinkable.  In the space of a single generation, the bounds of reasonableness have dramatically shifted.  There is a new conception of the normal, and the motivation - the engine for this movement is empathy and compassion.  It is precisely those who accept trans and nonbinary people as people who are now compassionate, dispassionate, unemotional - it seems an obvious matter, a simple matter of common sense - while those who refuse to do so seem angry, afraid, reactive, and judgemental.


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