Appeals to Reason

It's interesting in the context of what I've already said about appeals to reason not really being enough to change things that you put your argument in Kantian terms. 

My summary understanding of Kant's philosophy is that it is based on the belief that reason is (or should be) the basis for moral action.

My encyclopedia search came up with, "In the Metaphysics of Ethics (1797) Kant described his ethical system, which is based on a belief that the reason is the final authority for morality. Actions of any sort, he believed, must be undertaken from a sense of duty dictated by reason."

In contrast I've argued, that even when one is being flawlessly reasonable, one still has to compete against other ideologies and whatever else is fuelling them.

Previously I went on to say that people, by and large, do not do things like, for example, giving up smoking for ideological reasons. 

I need to revise this statement.  It's not strictly true and it's not really what I want to say. 

Many people do indeed attempt to give up smoking based on (rational) understanding of the harmful effects.  And some of them may even succeed.

However, the point that I really want to emphasise is that it's more the case that people do not do things like start (and continue) smoking for ideological reasons.  This is why appeals to reason are a limited counter-force.

In the case of smoking, where we are talking about something now recognised as one of the most addictive drugs known to us, this is perhaps too obvious an example.  It's more than a single influence.  Factors such as alcohol, caffeine and television all contribute to varying degrees, and in many ways the more subtle and ambient influences are even trickier precisely because we take them so for granted.   But the fact of their existence and the extent of their influence is why I believe appeals to reason alone are not enough of a counter-force.

It's almost counter-intuitive to suppose that yet other substances (what those outside the experience might call a 'drug') could be the antidote.  It defies our conventional reasoning.  But, with the emphasis instead on the felt presence of immediate experience>, going beyond our conventional reasoning is perhaps the crux of what being a plant-person is all about.