The purpose of rationalism is to make the jump to post-rationalism, just like the purpose of a child is to become an adult. The proper use of rigor is to prove one’s own sincerity and painstaking honesty to oneself, so that personal judgment can flourish from a foundation of responsible feelings rather than a cost-benefit analysis between balanced moral values. The man who appeals to “ethics” at the moment of truth reveals he lost the war within his own conscience long ago. He’s like a whore wearing a trenchcoat over her lingerie to prolong negotiations over the price of her surrender. And she’s thinking about how she wants to get out of this miserable cold wind.
I’m not advocating against rationality any more than I’d moralize against childishness in a child or even in an adult. It’s the retention of childish aspects like wonder and forthrightness that enable the higher adult functions like artistic appreciation and scientific curiosity. But I am suggesting that childish playfulness should only be the tenth part of a man’s aspect and that syllogisms and multiplication tables should be only the tenth part of his sensibility.