Long post incoming.
The first question we must ask is, “Is progression rational?” If learning is rational, how can people learn to do what is irrational, or an incorrect conclusion? As far as that goes, how can man learn to do more and more evil? Is not evil irrational? Is not separation from God an irrational response to God’s commands? Is not this irrationality based in the flesh? Is not the brain part of the flesh?
Also, as you have said what confirms this point of view, the child learns to become more selfish in their progression as saying “mine” comes after a reliance on their parents saying “mamma” or “dadda”. So one must ask if the increase of information is necessarily a rational thing? And insofar as learning is concerned, what our environment teaches us is how to act immorally, which I am sure you can appreciate given the lack of morals today as we grow away from God. So learning to say “mine” is of the flesh.
As I speak, I speak to the motive of man, not his ability to think because his ability to think comes from his motive (Prov. 16:9) which is based in his salvation insofar as his rationality comes from God, the origin of rationality.
And taking the whole of what I said, rather than a progression of what is said because it is all a complete thought in my mind, out thoughts of course do not come from “nowhere” as I have said our thoughts come from our motives which come from God which is a matter of salvation though we are not perfectly sanctified now but, as Paul says it in 1 Corinthians 1: 18, we are “being saved”.
So I might illustrate this more drawing from the book of Romans.
Rom. 3:9 (ESVS) ¶ What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are munder sin,
Rom. 3:10 (ESVS) as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
Rom. 3:11 (ESVS) no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
Rom. 3:12 (ESVS) All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
Rom. 3:13 (ESVS) “Their throat is pan open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
Rom. 3:14 (ESVS) “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
Rom. 3:15 (ESVS) “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Rom. 3:16 (ESVS) in their paths are ruin and misery,
Rom. 3:17 (ESVS) and the way of peace they have not known.”
Rom. 3:18 (ESVS) “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Rom. 3:19 (ESVS) ¶ Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
Rom. 3:20 (ESVS) For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Rom. 3:21 (ESVS) ¶ But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
Rom. 3:22 (ESVS) the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
Rom. 3:23 (ESVS) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Rom. 3:24 (ESVS) and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Rom. 3:25 (ESVS) whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
Rom. 3:26 (ESVS) It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Rom. 3:27 (ESVS) ¶ Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Rom. 3:28 (ESVS) For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
And as Paul explains,
Rom. 9:6 (ESVS) ¶ But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
Rom. 9:7 (ESVS) and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
Rom. 9:8 (ESVS) This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.
If we look at what Paul is saying in light of what I have said, there can be no rationality apart from God. And as being a son is to be righteous, and as to our righteousness we are rational, how can we say we have anything to do with our own rationality in the first place? I do not mean to make this an argument of Calvinism vs Arminianism apart to say that was it not Joseph who acted rationally and Pharaoh who acted irrationally? So we see the rational man is a righteous man, but in saying so we must conclude his rationality is not his own. This has been my point from the beginning.
We can tackle whether man is free in the thoughts portion of himself if it comes up, but we don’t need to I don’t think.