What is The Rational Anthem?

Isn’t it that book written by that dude? Yes. Isn’t it explained in the book? Yes. Then why would I need to ask that question? I could think of several reasons, but the main two are the facts that there are some people that haven’t read the book (and might not ever read the book), and also the book was just the beginning of what I envision to be so much more. I want to take time to explain the deeper aspects of this. I don’t want the book to just mark a moment in time when Jacob Bagley wrote a book, I want it to mark a moment in time that a movement began. This movement doesn’t necessarily take to the streets with poster boards and megaphones, but it seeks to change the language on those poster boards and change the words being amplified through those megaphones. It’s not out to start a fight, but to encourage a change. 

In a generation of irrationality, we need a voice of reason. A voice that seeks unity in the midst of the division. A voice that seeks hope in the midst of the turmoil. A voice that rests deep within all of us. That voice is the voice of rationality. The words within the pages of The Rational Anthem (book) and within the posts of The Rational Anthem (Blog) do not exist to be the end division, but to be the beginning of our journey towards unity. Not one of us can change the world on our own, but together we can cause the world to change. Let us do so by radical rationality.

This can be a difficult task, cant it? We all come from different backgrounds. We’re different races and religions. We ascribe to different political parties. We all hope for different things. We all pursue different passions. We are all different. How in the world is it possible to unite in the midst of our differences? We should not let our differences be our downfall. We should not let our differences be the decisiveness for our divisiveness. Our differences may determine who we are but we should not let our differences predetermine the value we place on others. It’s easy to compare and contrast in order to puff up our own chests. Differences should not influence personal decisions about social, cultural, political or human inferiority. Hate can unnecessarily take root in differences. It is my hope that on this journey we can all come to the understanding that differences are necessary. If we were all the same we would never learn or grow as human beings. We would all be doing the same jobs, reading the same books, eating the same food. If we were all the same, we wouldn’t be able to experience some of the most amazing aspects of humanity. Diversity is beautiful. 

I could expound on so many different things within this blog post, but I have more content to produce, so I’ll save that for another day. Rationality is difficult because it seems so irrational. It is irrational to love others that are completely different than us. It is irrational to take our own time to be generous to someone. It is irrational to not think with an unharnessed and out of control amount of passion. It is irrational to befriend the “enemy”. Rationality is irrational, but is it really? 

Division is at it’s deepest and tensions are at their peak. This is not because of the differences that we face as human beings, but it is because of how we think about those differences. The Rational Anthem doesn’t exist to encourage uniformity, but it exists to bring awareness to the fact that even in our differences, we can still live in peace. This is just the beginning. I hope to continue to address the things that rip us apart in a way that gives us the ability to find common ground.

The book The Rational Anthem exists to start the conversation. This blog, and whatever comes next, exists and will exist to continue those conversations. There are so many more topics that could have been addressed in the book. There are so many more issues that I could have talked through, and so many more conversations I could have started, but the book would have never ended. That’s where this comes into play. Whatever exists outside of the book exists to continue the conversation. Those conversations may be tough, at times. Those conversations may be practical, at times. Those conversations may just be fun, at times. 

I don’t want this to be strictly political. I feel like we are so overwhelmed with politics every day and it gets exhausting. I will address those political topics that cause deep division amongst us all, but I’ll also address other things. I could address food, or music, or technology, or any number of things. I think the main thing to remember for you, and the main thing I need to hold myself to is not the fact that I’m just addressing division, but I’m proposing unity. With that in mind, there may be things that we can all do in order to be better citizens of this planet that aren’t necessarily causing obvious division, but it does get in the way of our unity. 

This is just all a big experiment. Is it possible to put aside differences or put aside our selfishness in order to have meaningful relationships? Is it possible that, even though we are adamantly opposed to the other side, we can have a genuine friendship with them? Is it possible to pursue peace instead of animosity? I don’t know. I don’t know how all of this is going to work out. I don’t know if this experiment is going to be a success or a failure. Here’s what I do know; There are conversations I want to have with people but I can’t. I am labeled a certain way, that label associates me with certain people, those certain people do bad things that reflect onto me, therefore my label now defines me in ways that bring about hostility and resistance. These conversations go deeper than a label. These conversations, I believe, could mean life or death. I want to be able to have these conversations without having to fight against unnecessary hostility. I understand that there are outside forces contributing to this hostility, but wouldn’t it be great if we could fight against those outside forces in order to be able to effectively live and share in the spaces that we occupy?

Things may get messy. Things may get boring. Things may get weird. I hope these things contribute some good to this world, and I hope you tag along with me as we try, together, to navigate some of these tough waters. Thanks so much for coming along as far as you have! Let’s push forward as we try rational reconciliation! Let’s push forward as we sing the words to The Rational Anthem.