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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On Faith and Reason

Do you have faith? Do you use reason on a daily basis? Do you believe that your faith is a reasonable one? Do you have reasons for your faith?

In the past I have talked about how I listen to religious broadcasting a lot more than I should. Unfortunately it just has a very bad effect on me. I feel that it leaves me more negative than if I hadn't listened to it at all.

Well on my list of broadcasts that I listen to is one called The Narrow Mind which is hosted by Unchained Radio. The host of the show is Gene Cook Jr. from San Diego, California. He is a Reformed Baptist, which also means he's a Calvinist. He approaches all of his discussions from a calvinistic perspective. He is also really big into apologetics; namely the Transcendental Argument for God [TAG]. He feels, as well as many of his callers, that this type of apologetic is pretty much the only valid way. It is also known as the Presuppositional Apologetic.

It Presupposes the following- [though not an exhaustive list]
  • The Bible literally came from the hand of God
  • God is the source of all reason and intellect
  • TAG sets the framework for rational thinking and living
  • Without TAG there is no other true and valid reasoning
  • Without true and valid reasoning it is impossible to live rationally
  • Without true and valid reasoning it is impossible, ultimately, to find God

Anyone can navigate over to The Narrow Mind's Aftermath Blog from the link above and listen to the shows and read the comments from both theists and atheists on the various subjects that are discussed on the shows.

I have to say that I am bothered by an approach such as TAG simply because of the diversity of the human construct. I am troubled when it seems that any group would put such an emphasis on correct thinking like this. It comes off as if to say "even though we claim that salvation is not a work of man and a gift from God as he wills...the salvation experience isn't truly complete unless your intellect is also saved." I don't know; it all sounds rather cultish to me. Though most of the emphasis is said to be rooted in the Bible, I just have a hard time seeing such an intellectual demand to be found in it.

I guess the bottom line is this- regardless of what faith you embrace
  • What relationships do faith, intellect, and reason all have with each other?
  • Is faith a reasonable entity?
  • Can/does reason produce faith?
  • Is faith without intellect reasonable?

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Blogger greg said...

I still can't reconcile faith and reason. If the overall benefit of getting on a plane outweighs the overall risk, then getting on a plane is reasonable. If that's faith, then faith = calculated risk. In other words, faith = reason.

Believers, however, aren't satisfied equating faith with reason. They want the cake of faith being reasonable, but they want to eat that cake and say faith doesn't reduce to reason. When you try to point this out to them, they equivocate. It's a huge blind spot.

March 19, 2007 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger The Raging Paradoxidation said...

Ah, the old "you can't have your cake and eat it too" issue. I've never understood why one couldn't eat their cake if they were going to have it. If I knew I couldn't eat my cake, I would probably skip ordering it. Let someone else have it...unless they can't eat it either....and if they can't have it either then just don't put it out for anyone. But that might put a cake maker out of a job. Besides, I ordered steak and eggs.

Thoughtful observations Greg.

March 20, 2007 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger greg said...

Mmmm. I love cake-related analogies. "Let them eat cake." I also love the band "Cake."

March 20, 2007 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Cooper said...

I like the unplugged cake myself, with coffee, black coffee, coffee unadulterated by cream and sugar. Just a straight-up cup 'o joe.

March 22, 2007 at 10:58 PM  

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