Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Categorically Unreasonable

One thing particularly struck me about this story about the Knights of Columbus putting up a sign to "Keep Christ in Christmas".

The Freedom From Religion Foundation wanted to put up a competing sign that said the following:

“At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds,” said Seidel.
Little problem here though. "Reason" is an abstract concept, a process or state of mind that cannot be verified scientifically by any means. It has no mass, no energy, no wavelength, no temperature, no quantifiable existence of any sort.

In short, we can't scientifically prove reason exists any more than we can scientifically prove God or angels or heaven and hell exist: because it is outside the capacity of science to measure it.

And at any rate, there is absolutely nothing reasonable about naturalism. To say that existence is limited to what we piddling human beings can detect with our eyes, ears, and measuring instrumentation is to make natural world completely dependent on *our* powers of observation. It'd be like an angler fish confidently asserting there is no such thing as the sun or clouds because he has never seen them.

Reason can say "I don't know if there's a God." Fair enough. It can say "I don't know if there's angels or devils or heaven and hell." Fair enough. Reason can say "I see no evidence of these things". Fair enough.

But reason can never simply and categorically say "Those things do not exist", or "there IS NO evidence". That is where it gets itself into trouble, and that is where too many skeptics founder on the shoals of their own deification of it.

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