Pros and Cons: A Reason for Everything

"The heart has its reasons which reason knows not."
-Blaise Pascal
Why are you reading this blog post? What reason do you have for sitting at your computer staring at a screen? I mean, if you want to stare at a screen, surely you could be staring at something more interesting, like a game, or a YouTube video. But overall, wouldn't it be healthier to go outside and get some fresh air? Or go to bed instead of staying up so late?

No, wait, come back! That wasn't meant to make you leave, it was just supposed to lead up into today's post. Today, I'm going to show that everyone has a reason for everything, in the hopes that we will start looking into our reasons, rather than going along with them blindly.

As this is a rather simple idea, this will also be a shorter post than usual. Essentially, you have a reason for everything you do. I have a reason for everything I do. Everyone has a reason, and everyone does something because they believe it will be beneficial, usually to themselves.

Now, I'm sure that there's someone out there who has, upon reading this section, stood up, clapped three times, and sat down again. Or something along those lines. That is to say, someone has done something pointless to prove me wrong. Oops. I guess I'm wrong. Sorry. I'll end the post now.

...Actually, first, let's look at that sentence again. "Someone has done something pointless to prove me wrong." If they did it to prove me wrong, then it wasn't without reason. Their reason was to prove me wrong, even if they didn't know it, and they believed it would be beneficial because proving me wrong would give some type of emotional satisfaction, or not proving me wrong would provide some type of emotional dissatisfaction.

Even people who intentionally do something detrimental to themselves believe that it will be beneficial. Each action has a list of pros and cons. People subconsciously weigh those pros and cons and decide which will be more beneficial. Doing something detrimental to yourself would happen if you subconsciously believed that such an action should happen for whatever reason, which means that you are now closer to the emotion that you were aiming for. If you want to be sad, then you "want" to be sad, and are aiming for what you want.

This is important, because we make decisions all the time. We subconsciously weigh the pros and cons. But do we trust our own inner minds? I believe that, rather, we should bring decisions into our conscious minds to analyze them more thoroughly. I don't mean the most basic decisions, such as walking rather than hopping on one foot, but more decisions than we currently think about. If we're actively deciding to do something, we need to know why we're doing it. Few pros but no cons? Many pros and few cons? Or are we not doing it for the opposite reasons?
"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness."
-Mary Shelly


  1. I'm really glad my brain makes many subconscious decisions regardless of reason or motive...that would suck to have to remind myself to breath every 10 seconds...but in larger perspective many actions use brain functions that come from instinct i.e. you're nervous in a conversation, do you think through everything and decide what to say based on reason or purpose...or do you just spew out words and hope they make sense. Obviously for major actions we tend to think and form decision from reason...but usually in life we let our subconscious take over. Saves a lot of time.

  2. Yes, it's often good to let the subconscious take over, but many times, our subconscious minds make decisions based on logical fallacies. So we should think through such things as habits and instincts. What may seem obvious to you based on where you live, might seem entirely ridiculous to someone else based on how they were raised. So we analyze the habits, at least once. If the habits make sense (e.g., breathing) we would continue in them. But if the habits are detrimental, we may need to change the way we think.