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Friday, May 8, 2015


Come now, let us reason together."
Through the prophet Isaiah, God invites us to join Him in doing this. That we also desperately need to do so with each other should go without saying, but with this world being what it is, it can't be said often enough! And one thing which worries me quite a bit about these days is how many of us basically REFUSE to 'listen to reason'. It may well prove that the best solution to deal with all such is to pit them against each other, place our bets and pass the popcorn!
On the other hand, I also know a good deal more of history and of theology than most other folks and that knowledge tells me that it is very likely that it has been the few among humans who have used reason, and taken its use seriously, over the millennia. Many such are probably counted among the 'greats' of both disciplines and of others. So, then, why should I worry?
Two causes for worry occur to me just now. First, we have been screwing up our environment on a never-before-seen scale and changing the very climate while we do. And there are still willful fools among us with their heads in the sand (or, more likely, up their own derrieres) who refuse to acknowledge it. Second, at no time in history was anyone in, say, Paris, likely to hear about a traffic accident or a criminal chase or whatever in Shanghai or Buenos Aires. The world is still shrinking in that way.
In The Closing of the Muslim Mind, Robert Reilly relates how the Muslim world committed intellectual suicide starting actually just about a millennium ago and finishing about eight hundred years ago. It took rather a while, as you can see. He ends the book as follows:
"As was seen in the blood-soaked history of the twentieth century, the "priority of the irrational"--even if embraced only by the radical few--can inexorably lead to limitless violence, because the primacy of the will, whether in God or man, knows no [natural] bounds. The recovery of reason, grounded in logos, is the only sentinel of sanity. This is imperative for the East as well as the West." I might add Euripides' noted line, "Whom the gods destroy they first make mad."
We who are reason's sentinels, whether we be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic, atheist or Spaghettists, need to support, strengthen and encourage one another. The European separation of reason from faith is not particularly helpful in this; neither is the encouragement of unreason and consequent blinding of faith as seems now to be common among 'fundies' of at least all the Abrahamian faiths. Faith and reason both need to be in partnership. Such a partnership will continue to be, as it has been, in a costly but fruitful and noble tension--and so it must and should remain, because it is so fruitful.
The choice is before us all, today and every day: the work of reasoning together and with God (and He will help, but we must ask first) or madness and consequent destruction. With His help, let's do all we can to push the first and thereby neutralize the second. Can I have an amen?
And remember: seventy years ago today, we saw the unconditional surrender of a regime that set itself against reason and rationality.

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