Does Reason replace God or is it a gift from God? Can man possess Reason apart from God?
Define Reason. If you believe that Reason makes God unnecessary, then how do you explain how you acquired the ability to Reason and how can you be certain that you are, in fact, "reasonable." How do you explain Isaiah 55:8-9:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Where does that leave Reason when it is separate from faith?
Replace the words "declares the Lord" with "wrote the man" and the whole question disappears. The bible is a compilation of books written by men.
Reason permits me to ignore Biblical stories or questionable morality and concentrate on issues that impact my community...many caused by religious intolerance. No god had anything to do with the establishment of my reasoning faculties. Dolphins and Orcas can reason almost as well as humans...are they created in "His" image? I simply have a nifty primate brain complete with several layers that have developed over millions of years to perform tasks such as problem-solving, critical-thinking, abstract thought, and tool utilization. Praise be to Darwin.
When you become a follower of Christ it eliminates reason. "Reason" is the product of your flesh. The reasoning faculties can often time make us question the very doctrines of jesus. Faith is the total oposite of reason. Reason is what wars with our spirit and destroys our faith. We walk only by faith.
Thanks Sterling, that was my point. 1 Cor. 1:25 says, "The wisdom of God is foolishness to those who are perishing." This does not mean that God is foolish, but that man cannot perceive true wisdom apart from God because it is beyond him.
Reason is of the flesh. Faith is from spiritual. Now if we could just transcend the physical we would not need reason. But 99.9% cannot transcend, we are human. Prior to death reason guides us well. Notice your quote does not give us an option, we must live in our ways. Which requires reason. In teaching in parables and metaphors Christ definately used reason to make matters understandable.
Eric, thank you for your response. To take it one step further, there is Godly wisdom that comes through special revelation and is "above" or contrary to human understanding and there is general revelation that all men receive as God's creation.
A man excercises wisdom in order to help fellows, and in pure love. Let us agree, that this is not out of reason but out of faith.
Reason is logic: Logos; basic principals which define the world around us. Logic, however, doesn't explain the "why" in anything, only "how".
Reason can bridge the gap to faith quite easily, in that where logic fails to give a clear answer, faith does. Faith is simply trust. For the longest time, scientists "trusted" that the evidence they had pointed towards the existence of black holes.
To illustrate, LOGICALLY explain to me why it is possible that you are cognitively aware of what is going on around you right now. You might be able to explain how in purely materialistic terms, but not why.
In fact, the whole idea of cognitive awareness, or sentience, is predicated on the idea that you are observing the very fabric of reality that is around you. You can't explain it, but you can at the very least, trust that you exist.
Everything that exists must have a reason. Everything that has a reason for existing, must also have a purpose. Therefore, you exist because you have a purpose.
"I think, therefore I am." - René Descartes.
"And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you." - Exodus chapter 3, verse 14.
God thinks, therefore God is...
But it takes faith (trust) to believe that another sentient being exists. I don't have to believe you exist, but you sure have to believe that you exist. Likewise, it doesn't matter who does or doesn't believe that God exists. He exists regardless of what anyone thinks.
God bless you.
Reason is nothing more nor less than a very useful function of the human mind. As a species, we would be lost without it. But to worship reason, and to think all of reality can be encompassed by reason, seems to me to be worshipping a function of your own mind and thereby putting very narrow limits on your awareness or understanding. I'm all in favor of reason, but it can lead us up wrong alleys. Reason can only be used on what we know already. To expand our awareness, we also need imagination, vision, curiosity, a sense of wonder. Reason does not replace religion nor does it make God unnecessary. However, many people do regard a belief in God as unnecessary, but that's a different issue.
Reason is the ability of comprehending, inferring, or thinking, and the use of logic. It is otherwise known as the intellect.
A good question. I thought a simple dictionary type response would be appropriate. I could not however, find any such definition that pointed to a god, as a source of this human talent.
Another question, for example, Is 'reason' required for the belief in a god? If this is true then one must conclude that a gods existence is predicated on ones capacity to reason that a god exists.And then, how is that god defined? This too, creates a quandary, as, for example, the God of the Jews has a particular definition, which is in contradiction to that of Christians. Islam has another definition for their God. The Greek God Zeus was defined so eloquently that many gods to follow had similar characteristics and roots and that would include the gods of the modern world.
Since there are more Muslims than Christians and since they all possess the capacity to reason; is the God of Islam and His definition, which is found in the Koran more reasonable, more truthful then the God of Christianity? It would seem so.
I think our capacity to reason is, as all things are, an evolving process. The Christian of today would probably be killed or banished by the Catholic (Christian) of 1500 years ago and most certainly would be killed by the devotees of Zeuse or shunned by the Pilgrims.
So the truth that a god exists is based upon our ability to reason that one does exist. The problem here is our talent to reason is far from perfect, so where does that leave the assertion that a god, of any description, is a truthful assertion or position?
Charles J. Hunsinger
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