The Rational Fallacy is the idea that a free choice or decision must be a rational choice.
For many philosophers, free decisions are thought to be rational decisions. For many philosophers, reason is the distinguishing characteristic of humanity. For theologians, reason is a gift of God along with the gift of free will. The Scholastics thought that we are free when our decisions are rational. We are slaves to our passions when our decisions are evil. For naturalist philosophers, humans are animals, biological organisms with many distinguishing features from those we label mere animals, but the distinguishing features not easily identified as reason and free will. Information philosophers see the distinguishing features of humans in their incredible capacities for information creation, management including storage and retrieval, and communication to others. All animals are information processing systems, but humans have externalized vast amounts of actionable information as "knowledge" and "culture." Every human being can benefit, through education, from the efforts of those past humans who have succeeded in adding to the sum of knowledge. This knowledge leads to the perception that we are reasoning beings. Modern thinkers who make rationality a criterion for free will, or at least for moral responsibility, include Susan Wolf, who argues that our freedom must be "within reason" and thus decisions must be made with full knowledge of "the True and the Good." The idea that our decisions must be moral and our actions good in order to be free is the related ethical fallacy.