Poor misunderstood rationality
Rationality is not gaming the system! Rationality is not about being smart! Rationality is not conning your way out of life!
Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason. Rationality implies the conformity of one’s beliefs with one’s reasons to believe, or of one’s actions with one’s reasons for action. Wikipedia
Being smart, even highly intelligent, does not make one rational! Rationality implies a constant follow through on ones actions and beliefs to update and verify them against experience.
If we step away from that, by claiming we’re on the good side even if we’re doing irrational things, it means our actions and reasons for action are disconnected. That by itself dilutes our truth, because truth is contiguous from the initial hypothesis to the final q.e.d. If we believe things for the wrong reasons we are not true believers.
For a Christian it’s like this: if I believe in Jesus just because he promised us heaven, I am not being a true believer. It takes a deeper internalization of the preaching of Jesus to be a true believer, rather than the mere promise of eternal beatitude and eating tons of ice cream without getting fat.
Was it rational for Jesus to threaten the establishment at the time?
His beliefs and actions were perfectly in accordance with his reasons.
The establishment was deeply corrupted and that was His mission after all. He did not threaten Rome, but the fallen priesthood of the day. It would have been irrational to go after the empire considering his mission. He predicted with great success that his actions will imprint in the common collective, very rational if you ask me. Not to mention, Jesus, at least in the way he is presented by the evangelists is very, very rational, being limited only by having preached to people who had the mindset of two thousand years ago.
Was it rational for his disciples to put themselves in danger by following him?
Sure, they predicted the result of their action based on many true assumptions. That is where faith shows. Faith has a way to transform hypotheses into axioms. When you have faith, you set to true the value of many affirmations. And that becomes the base of your reasoning. They knew martyr was expected, and while they feared it on the short term, they knew that on the long term it will be a success.
My definition of rational is that you make a decision that is in your self interest
That is why my line of thought might be weird for you. A rational decision is an attempt to predict the future on the long term by placing parts in accordance: what you know, what you believe, what you will know and so on. Self interest and reason are not necessarily related. Self interest can be rational, or it can be irrational. Instinct is many a time perfectly attuned with our self interest, but it is rarely rational.
If I work a job that actively makes the world a worse place for more money, then I am making a selfish rational choice at the expense of my moral sense of right and wrong.
If you work a job that actively makes the world a worse place you are being irrational, because in the future your work will get back at you and you fail to predict that. Being smart even highly intelligent does not make one rational! Machiavelli’s line of thought, ego centrism, selfishness are not very bright lines of action. In general they do not provide a good outcome for the actors involved.
What Holly Wood is saying is that our rationality can be in conflict with our morals. Maybe what she meant to say is self interested rationality.
What I see is how easily we want to disconnect from our most basic responsibility as human beings: thinking. You cannot declare your opposition on the wrong side because they claim to be rational. You must prove they are irrational. Morals must be rationally calibrated or it fails its purpose, which is a collective agreement on what “good” means. By rationally calibrating it you can then formulate moral precepts that make sense in our reality.
Elitism has many forms and it can be defined in many ways, but, in my view, at the core of it it is a kind of event horizon that surrounds a set of opinions, like a black hole of the mind where one is in the center of it, and the universe must choose to disappear inside you or stay as far as possible.
I didn’t mean to call anyone anything, of course, just to point a potential irrational course of fixing our problems, which will generate even more problems, like all irrational things eventually do.