: *The problem is not reason itself but a society which has elevated reason to almost mystical status as the provider of answers and the ultimate solution to any problem.
I would agree that putting *faith* in reason is a contradiction, but that reason itself is never cuplible.
: Humans have emotions and irrational desires which can be just as important as their ability to reason.
I am sure they seem very important as indicators of what is valuable to individuals, as motivators - but it is not them which calculates the correct size of a buildings foundations or chooses the right steel for a bridge.
: Opposition doesn't stand a chance in the publicity war because those who claim to be on the side of reason have automatically claimed the 'moral' high ground.
I get the impression its the other way round - that proponents of reason are seen as less than 'human' because they do not hold up their emotions as 'reasons' to do things a certain way.
: Reason is seen as an inherent good. If the system is rational it must be good, no matter what its outcome.
I think I see what you're getting at - you can design a chemical weapon using reason, but that doesnt make its use 'good'.
: I'll just make an observation on one of the examples you used. If people were purely rational whenever they built a house then every house in your town would look exactly the same.
Would it? Two reasonable builders with different tastes would construct two different houses - but that which enabled them to accomplish it was their reason.
: What happens when pure reason is applied to the issue of housing? Housing estates (you might call them projects).
Thats more pure political expediency, not reason. Reason would take into account all appropriate factors - such as how people live.
: But the government departments continue to repeat the same procedure in response to every problem.
It isnt reason thats doing this, and the departments carry on though a mixture of inertia and the political aspirations of its leaders.