When There's No Rhyme or Reason

The Journal (Newcastle, England), April 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

When There's No Rhyme or Reason


Byline: PAUL BENNEWORTH

WHEN I moved to secondary school, I fell in with a bad crowd and was always in trouble. I was lucky enough to have a form tutor who explained to me the importance of taking responsibility for your actions.

He often said to me when I tried to explain my mischief was "that's not a reason, it's an excuse". He was right - an excuse merely justifies something that you have already decided to do, whereas a reason shows that you have deliberately chosen an action to achieve a desired result.

As long as you have a reason, as I later discovered; you don't have to be right. If the reason makes sense, then if you fail, you will learn something from the experience.

These lessons over time make you a wiser person. Not just when you are faced with similar choices, but also when you encounter entirely novel situations.

Our life-changing decisions are rarely ones that we make very often whether to buy a house, get married, go to university, take a new job or emigrate.

So reasoning is particularly important here. Without reason, we are cheating ourselves of the chance to take a greater control over our destiny.

Which is why the steady loss of reason from our public life is so worrying. At exactly the same time that the Government has decided to intrude more into our lives, it has shown less inclination to consider whether this makes any sense.

The recent revelations about the 'consultation' around Heathrow's third runway are an acute example of this behaviour.

The Government decided on a course of action - building the new runway - in response to lobbying from airlines. There was a consultation, but it would be generous to describe it as a sham.

And this is not an isolated example - from the Iraq War to the promotion of genetically modified food through nuclear energy and the Kingsnorth power station, this Government has made a habit of taking decisions first, then coming up with the facts.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When There's No Rhyme or Reason
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.