Friday, July 16, 2010

The Paradoxical Nature of Reason

"It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a skeptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, "Why should anything go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? Are they not both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?" G.K. Chesterton

It amuses me to see some of the arguments that I will encounter on the internet regarding faith. Most of the time they are shallow, circular, and sometimes downright illogical. This is because most people draw a distinction between knowledge gained through empirical means and knowledge gained through any other means. The 19th century philosophers have turned the 21st century average citizen in a narrow and closed minded individual who believes that their way of thinking has a monopoly on wisdom. I have debated these people and I would point this out: as C. S. Lewis once did, "There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan." My point is this: if you wake up in the morning - you have a faith and a philosophy that you live by, period. You may attempt to put forth this idea that you are this pure intellectual soul driven by reason, who sees the value of all ideas and respects them all. That is pure non-sense. What the majority of people do is accept a garden variety of beliefs without any hesitation, any discourse, and logical debate, any insight, any thought. The notion that faith is allotted a small corner of the room with no access to the world is absurd. The 20 and 21st century has left a trail of death, destruction, immorality, and insanity because of that belief. And it is a belief, an act of faith to think that way.

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