The modern world is full of contradictions. On one side, there are thousands of billionaires in the world, but on the other side, half of the world population can't earn even $5 per day. On one side, we enjoy the highest freedom that humankind has ever enjoyed. But on the other side, we are always chained with numerous rules, laws, traditions, and responsibilities. Today, almost all people have access to good education, and the literacy rate is reaching almost at cent per cent. However, on the other side, we also find numerous people believing in superstition and fighting with each other in the name of religion, caste and nationalism. On one side, countless people are suffering from malnutrition; it is also a fact that obesity is rising exponentially in most parts of the world.
When we come across such a reality, we wonder if our world is rational? Is it fair that a small number of people enjoy so much wealth and live a good life while billions of human beings suffer so much poverty? Some people blame the capitalist economic development model for the inequality, while others attribute the disparity to the greed of the wealthy. However, the fact remains that the world has always been unequal. Despite the advent of democracy and the modern values of equality, inequality still exists in the world as ever before.
The American author Mark Twain once said, "Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't." In some ways, rationality appears like fiction with no connection to reality. For example, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood". Such concepts of equality of human beings may be laudable, but not a reality as all human beings are not equal. Can we compare geniuses like Albert Einstein with ordinary people? Can everyone become a Bill Gates of Mahatma Gandhi?
Nature has created inequality, and no two individuals are ever equal. There is also a marked difference between the genders. In the same way, people also have different talents for innovation, literature, arts, sports, music etc. Of course, some people are extraordinary, and they outshine to become disproportionally wealthier, powerful and famous. However, those outstanding make the world better due to their immense contribution in all walks of life.
While all other species follow nature and accept inequality, human beings challenge the design of God or nature and try to overcome them by using rationality. Governments worldwide try to create an egalitarian society by taxing the rich and redistributing their wealth to the poor. Most democratic countries practice positive discrimination or reservation to provide additional benefits to the weaker sections of the society. However, despite all these measures, the inequality in the world is rising with every passing year.
However, it is essential to understand that nothing happens in the world without reason. Albert Einstein rightly said once, "God does not play dice in the world." When reality does not match with our rational thoughts, it is not reality's fault but a defect in our rationality. If we ignore the reality and develop our rationality contrary to the truth, the reality will not change to fit into our rationality. It is up to us to face reality, whether good or bad, whether sweet or sour and develop our rationality accordingly.
G.W.F. Hegel attempted to find unity between reality and rationality as he said, "The is real is rational, and what is rational is real." He did not accept the philosophy of Plato that differentiated between the world as it appears to us and reality. Instead, he argued that there is no difference between appearance and reality, and we know reality only by its appearance in different forms. He also differed with Kant that there is a noumenal world which we cannot know by our rational thinking. Instead, he believed that we could understand everything by our rational thinking.
Some human beings have always believed in a mysterious world which, according to them, is incomprehensible. Today, billions of people believe in God, devil, soul, ghosts, and fate, even though there is no evidence of such entities. For thousands of years, people believed in such mysteries without any rationality. However, modern science is based on logic, evidence and rational thinking. Science does not accept anything based on belief and always seek evidence and a logical explanation of the phenomenon. As a result, science has busted many myths and demolished many false beliefs. For example, it has been believed for ages that God sends diseases like plagues to punish the sins of human beings. However, scientists rationality studied the causes of the plague and practically eliminated plague from the world. The rational thinking of scientists has led to great innovations and modern technology that have provided numerous benefits to humanity and improved the quality of their lives.
Hence, it is evident that there is no difference between reality and rationality. If rationality is not based on reality, it can't sustain because the very purpose of rational thinking is to arrive at the truth. Therefore, we must know the reality to deal with it rationally. For example, when we know the reality of fire, we won't burn our hands by putting it in fire, but instead, we shall use the fire to cook our meal or keep the house warm during winters.
It is, therefore, evident that rational thinking is the best method to know facts, truth, and reality. We must face reality, whether it is bitter or sweet, instead of feeling secure in the falsehood. A day can't become night by any amount of rational thinking. Similarly, all human beings will become equal just because equality appears more rational because, in reality, people are unequal. Only when our rationality is rooted in reality, we can know the truth and lead a good life.