Articles tagged with: reason

[28 Feb 2018 | One Comment | ]

Whenever I hear someone claim that they only believe what is demonstrated by reason and science, I want to smile. If that person is in my presence I try to suppress it, lest they think I am making fun of them, which only results in their launching into a grand (and often irritated) defense of both as the way to truth.
It is not that I don’t believe in reason or value science. It’s just that both reason and science work best with a large dose of humility. Thinking either is …

[8 Oct 2011 | 2 Comments | ]

(The next few posts will be from my book-in-progress The Skeptical Believer. Each will be a digestible excerpt from a section exploring how we make meaning for ourselves.)
“We use what we call reason to preclude thought.” Marilyn Robinson
We have more words for thinking than Eskimos have for snow—and they have dozens. All of them are attempts to get at some aspect of the ceaseless human process of making sense of things. The following are all words related to some part of the process, and this is the short list: intellect, …

[30 Sep 2011 | No Comment | ]

Reason is both a lovely helpmate and a whore. I have been exploring that idea quite a bit the last few months while writing this Skeptical Believer book. (Among other things, I’m looking for a more acceptable word than “whore,” which I am sure is considered offensive on many fronts these days. How about, “reason will serve any master”?)
The basic idea is that reason, while certainly a gift and a powerful tool, is so prone to manipulation by the other aspects of our being—hopes, desires, will, prejudice, fears, etc.—that to …