Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


REASON OR THINKING CORRECTLY - WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE IT FROM SELF-RESPECT AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS

 

Chesterton

 

Chesterton rightly said that he strongly opposed wrong arguments for the right side and opposed them more than wrong arguments on the wrong side.  Why?  Because good things are hard to see as good when they are supported the wrong way or by lies or rubbish.  Bad arguments for bad ideas only help their downfall.

 

There is human cost in all this for people need to devote themselves out of self-respect and respect for themselves to the right things for the right reasons.


Reason is?

Reason is merely a way of testing truth claims to see if they are coherent. Even if something is coherent or non-contradictory that does not make it true. Reason and spirituality (if you accept that concept and its credible!) must work together in harmony.

Reason is a part of you. To respect reason is to respect yourself. To trust your reason is to trust yourself.

To contradict yourself is to be against yourself. Reason is your most important faculty after being alive. It prevents you being against yourself and helps you conform to truth and reality and be a grown-up. It develops your skills at self-correction. Nothing cares about self-correcting as much as reason does.

Reason is a perception that something is a and not non-a. It is about noticing contradictions and absurdities and sifting them out from what makes sense or is reasonable. Reason is built into consciousness. For example, you know you exist and you can't doubt that. That is what consciousness is for, scanning. It can't scan if it doesn't scan. It is the verification of the law that something cannot exist if it is contradictory. Your awareness tells you by experience that you are aware and you cannot be fooled about that. You cannot be aware and not aware. It is one or the other.

We need reason. We need to think properly and sensibly about things. Thinking helps us work out what is true and what is real.

Those who say reason is useless and we should discard it or maybe use faith only are still reasoning!

It is important that what we believe and find courage and strength in, be reasonable. It stops us going astray.

You are not your feelings. If you distrust reason you have to trust your feelings. In other words, you have to demean and endanger yourself. Make friends with your reason.

The faith we teach and love is a faith that informs and coheres with reason. The house of faith has to repose on the foundation of reason. Reason testifies that it is the faith for us. Reason testifies that it is the form of faith that is correct.

Rationalising is more mistaking a feeling that something is true - it involves sloppy thinking.

The bright side of reason

You are at the mercy of three appetites - reason, your animal appetites (eg the need for food) and your feelings of desire.

Without reason, your animal appetites and your feelings would rule the day and they will take you away from reality and truth. It is self-evident that it is better to devote ourselves to reason no matter how many mistakes we make in it as long as we really try.

To form a conscience well you need to be able to reason and to be reasonable.

You have to get your core values right. When people put in the work to develop them they grow in unity and their relationships are better. Your core value is acceptance.

We need absolute truth for we need to depend on something. Changing your mind all the time with the fashions is not depending and is slavery and torment. Only reason can let you see the truth.

Reason cannot tell me everything but it helps me protect myself and others from the danger of errors and deceivers.

Reason is about respect as well as truth

You cannot be an obstacle in the way of truth without opposing others - without opposing their right to get an opportunity to know. You oppose them both potentially and actually. You have a bad attitude.

Reason is not merely the avoiding of contradictions and basing my thinking and feelings on evidence and facts. It needs to be understood as a form of respect for myself and others which entails the avoidance of contradictions and basing my thinking and feelings on evidence and facts. I make life harder for myself and others if I do not try to keep grounded in reality and truth. I do it because I do not want to see others led astray. And I know that error leads to more error. Reason and love for evidence and truth is an act of love for the truth and also for myself and others. It is an act of love for the human mind.

Forget about reason as being just about rules. See it more as about how to check if something is true or false or might be true or false so that you and others may be protected from the damage error can do. See it was as a friend not as a mental exercise.

Reason is about being a caring person. I am happy because I equally balance reason and emotion/desire. I feel attracted by reason and delight in my power to reason and wish to radiate my joy to others. I can train my feelings to reason for me. None of it needs to be boring or arid intellectualism.

Donít Call Yourself Reasonable!

Religion often says that God's grace enables and empowers our capacity to think and love and work. Thus it claims to be rational though supplemented by faith for reason cannot tell you everything and mostly only good for spotting contradictions. Nobody has the right however to claim to be rational. What they do is spell out what they think or believe or know and the case in its favour and answer the case against it. Rationality is not an adjective but a verb. Actions speak. You live out your rationality rather than proclaim it.

Religion and many other entities in society, claim to be rational and encourage people to take their rationality for granted. Actually that is very wrong and manipulative and anti-rational. Reason necessarily means you do not tell others you are rational - you show it to them. You lay out all the evidence by pen and paper if you have to. Reason belongs to everybody not just those who claim to be rational. Reason is about transparency in matters pertaining to evidence or proof and about avoiding contradiction and mistaking what is not proof as proof. Reason desires correction which is why it hides nothing from anybody.

Self-deception can be hard to diagnose for sometimes a person in believing nonsense is actually 90% rational and it is the 10% that is the problem. You can be very clever and use that cleverness to make you think that you are rational when you are not. You can have a low IQ and deceive yourself as well. You need to give people sound reasons why they should agree with you. It helps you see if you are really as reasonable and careful as you think.

Nobody has the right to claim to be reasonable - they must demonstrate it. Reason is about protecting others and yourself and the truth from error which is why it has to be such an open book.

If people were more rational they would be more united as well. Rationality requires rational behaviour so rationality must speak louder than words.

Reason and its role in belief and opinion and faith

Rationality is often misunderstood.

To be rational and to know what being rational means you must realise that belief and faith and even guesses are fine if they are the best you can do under the circumstances. It is rational to live by the working hypothesis.

Looking for rigorous proof all the time creates too high of a bar. It is irrational to reject the possibility that a belief or guess is correct. You donít need a lot of confidence in what you believe or guess but just enough.

Do not sell reason and logic short. Be their friend and see there is more to rationality that systems that are based on inductive or strict proof.

Interestingly it is logically proven that logical proof is not enough and that it is logical to guess or believe as best you can. But always be open to finding something better than a guess or belief. A belief that is a little more convincing than the other is the best.

To sum up, without reason we would not be alive and true respect for reason is respecting a big part of what human nature is about.