"... what has your reportedly rational mind brought you, in your opinion on the things that matter most in life?
Really, on great issues like love, friendship, caring, humility - the rational mind seems either slient or weak ... based both on the evidence, which rationalist seem to emphasize, and more generally."
Your rational mind gives you only silence? That's probably because you don't listen to other rational minds; you only listen to your own ignorant mind and those preachers that lie to you. If you care to know what rational minds think you might want to click the links below:
Evolutionary Psychology and the Emotions
Evolutionary psychology views the mind (and mind is what the brain does) as a collection of evolved, domain-specific programs arranged in a fairly chaotic cognitive architecture. Each is functionally specialized for solving a different adaptive problem that arose during hominid evolution. These programs sometimes conflict with one another. For example, sleep and flight from a predator require mutually inconsistent actions, computations, and physiological states. It is difficult to sleep when your heart and mind are racing with fear.
Emotions, which lead to love, friendship, caring, humility, are such programs. They're the most primitive of our programs and the cerebral cortex evolved as a tool for their use, meaning reason is the tool of the emotions.
Love really does come down to a chemical addiction and the chemicals are oxytocin and vasopressin.
This doesn't invalidate observations made by artists, poets and playwrights who have made some progress in understanding of love, it adds another layer and a new and dangerous control over our emotions. Scientists are challenging some notions, and they are learning a lot about how and why people love each other.
Understanding the neurochemical pathways that regulate social attachments may help to deal with defects in people's ability to form relationships. Our relationships rely on an ability to create and maintain social ties. Defects can be disabling, and become apparent as disorders such as autism and schizophrenia and even noremal depression that can result from rejection in love. Research is also shedding light on some of the more extreme forms of sexual behaviour.
Mirror neurons and imitation learning as the driving force behind "the great leap forward" in human evolution.