/Rochester’s “A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind” brings up arguments concerning rational thought and humanity /, which Rochester argues very strongly that natural reason, a logical manner of thinking, is right and useful,/ while the reason of society is foolish /and even harmful to one’s enjoyment of life./
I. Rochester’s ideals on rational thought and humanity
a) men are weighed down with pride and an unnatural manner of thinking which they call reason.
b) This "reason" takes the world and twists it, leading men astray and making life far less pleasant than it should be.
II. Natural reason is right and useful
a) Reason is similar to the idea of common sense, in that it should be used to determine rules of good and bad.
i) “I own right reason, which I would obey:
That reason which distinguishes by sense
And gives us rules of good and ill from thence” (ll. 99-101)
b) Rochester does not hate all forms of reason just the ones that damage an enjoyable life
i) “This plain distinction, sir, your doubt secures:
‘Tis not true reason I despise, but yours.” (ll. 109-110)
III. Reason of society is foolish
a) We do good things out of fear which makes throws away our honor
b) Men can be vicious to one another with little or no real reason, and that is a major flaw in the speaker’s eyes. Animals, on the other hand, only kill each other out of necessity, in order to survive.
IV. Reason is harmful to one’s enjoyment of life.
a) Reason destroys happiness because it drives one to understand the world rather than to simply take it as it is and enjoy it.
b) Men hide their betrayal behind the mask of friendship