Welcome to The Reasonable Grouch blog. The Merriam-Webster dictionary which I happen to have next to my computer (not because it’s a particularly good dictionary, but rather because it happens to fit on the shelf) defines “reasonable” as: 1. being within the bounds of reason; not extreme. 2. inexpensive. 3. able to reason; rational. I think this describes both me and my intentions for this blog, but in reverse order. This blog will post opinions on all sorts of matters, from politics and history, government and the law, to culture and the arts, with a little sports and humor thrown in for good measure. Hopefully readers will discover that I am able to reason and that my thoughts are rational, for this is my goal; to bring rationality to topics that range from the most pressing issues of the day to weird curios that I just happen to find interesting. So that takes care of definition 3. As for definition 2 (“inexpensive”) well, reading this blog is free; hard to get more reasonable/inexpensive than that. As for definition 1, that’s a little trickier. There are times when being within the bounds of reason sounds extreme, because we’re just not used to hearing a particular concept or idea. For example, Galileo used reason to determine that the earth revolves around the sun, but he was thought extreme in his day because people were not used to the idea. Many atheists today are immediately thought to be “extreme” (Professor Richard Dawkins comes to mind) even though their thoughts on supernatural phenomena are based on sound reasoning. People who believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, immortal supreme being are thought to be reasonable even though their belief in such a god rests not on rational reasoning, but rather on long-held superstitions that most were taught as kids and that they have declined to examine rationally as they got older, whether due to fear, custom, a desire to conform, lack of intellectual curiosity, or some combination thereof. So we see that some thoughts and beliefs that are widely seen as “unreasonable” (i.e. extreme) can, in fact, be based on sound rational reasoning. Hopefully, the thoughts expressed in this blog, for the most part (nobody’s perfect) will be based on sound reasoning. This might tick some people off at times, but saying what people want to hear to keep them happy is not the kind of “reasonable” I’m after on this site. But part of using reason to form opinions is a willingness to listen to differing ideas and accepting them if they make sense. So please feel free to comment on what I have to say; if you’re comments are persuasive, and I’m really as reasonable as I set out to be, I’ll change my mind.
Oh yes, I almost forgot. We’ve covered the “reasonable” part, but what, you may ask, about the “grouch” part. I am actually a somewhat even tempered person, but I do get annoyed at times at the state of the world, which tends to make me a bit, you know, grouchy. The name is also somewhat of an homage to the great Julius Marks (known to his fans as Groucho) whose keen with and refusal to suffer fools gladly I have always tried to emulate. So while I might tend to get a bit grouchy in my posts from time to time, I hope and expect that at least I’ll have a good reason for doing so.


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