About Rational Realm
A web site dedicated to reasoned inquiry and ethical action
Our Intellectual Tradition
Rational Realm is the brainchild of founder and current administrator, Leslie Allan. Following a lifelong interest in science and philosophy, Leslie created the Rational Realm web site with the primary aim of kindling the same spirit of inquiry in others. Rational Realm's point of difference with the plethora of web sites devoted to human knowledge and behaviour is its focus on the application of reason to intellectual and ethical problems. Rational Realm digs deeper by exploring the nature of reason and how we apply it in our belief systems and moral discourse.
With people's personal beliefs and our socially shared paradigms demonstrating such bewildering diversity, Rational Realm seeks to deconstruct many of the irrationalities of our time. Revealed religions, paranoid conspiracy theories and alternative medicine each possess a kernel of truth in their respective world views. Each lends credence to the veracity of personal experience and a mistrust of entrenched authority. The intriguing puzzle that Rational Realm thinkers investigate is the points at which each of these belief systems go off the rails.
In this vein, Rational Realm authors explore the nature of reality, the norms of rational belief and how we apply them to our favoured ideas. For some, their investigations take them to the limits of reason revealed at the cutting edge of scientific research. Physics, cosmology and cognitive psychology show the world and ourselves to be much more complex and mysterious than the simplistic dogmas of religion and superstition will have us believe. These thinkers explore the counterintuitive world of quantum mechanics and relativity and discuss how the human mind constructs reality. Black holes, the multiverse, quantum entanglement, out of body experiences, mass hysteria and the illusion of free will are just some of the mind-bending mysteries that engage Rational Realm thinkers. We invite you to share your experiences, contribute to the discussions and join us in learning about our mysterious and wonderful universe.
Rational Realm is committed to creating a better world for all, in the here and now. We do not subscribe to a world beyond the present, where our actions will be rewarded or punished in an afterlife. That means for us there is no heaven, no hell, no reincarnation and no karma. Our ethical obligations and the moral consequences of our actions are grounded in this world. Rational Realm authors actively support a variety of secular charities working around the world to alleviate the most egregious of sufferings. Our favoured charities include:
Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. What we like most about Kiva is that as the money we lend is repaid, the same money is lent again and again. Join one of the many groups on Kiva to share your stories with like-minded individuals, such as the popular Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious
Established by the United Nations, UNHCR leads and co-ordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. We find being a regular monthly donor the most convenient. You can also make single contributions to help with emergency programs.
Médecins Sans Frontières is an independent organisation for medical humanitarian aid providing assistance to people caught in crises around the world. They provide relief after natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes and help victims of conflict. They also run emergency feeding programs during nutritional crises and tackle neglected diseases, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. You can organize for regular monthly donations or make one off donations.
Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia is dedicated to the treatment and prevention of obstetric fistulas. This painful medical condition results from prolonged obstructed childbirth where adequate health and medical care is not available. Symptoms include incontinence that sometimes leads to severe infections, ulcerations and paralysis caused by nerve damage. Sufferers are often subject to severe social stigma with many marriages not surviving, simply unable to cope with the ongoing physical and emotional health issues. It's easy to donate monthly or to donate on an irregular basis from any country in the world.
These are our favourite charities because funds are used efficiently and assist individuals, families and children with the greatest need. Rational Realm invites you to help out any way you can with this much needed work in alleviating the most terrible sufferings around the world.