Faith and Reason

Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty. – Jacob Bronowski

One of my favorite pursuits is the question: How do we know what we know? Some are quick to point out that ‘reason’, that is, the process of reasoning and rational thought, is the only way to know the universe. Faith has nothing do offer rational thought and is, in fact, its opposite.

But that isn’t quite true.

If we look behind the initiatives in recent decades that arrange formal discussion about the highest of religious and social topics, the impetus almost always comes from the Catholic side. It is the Catholic Church in the modern world that, in practice, thinks that differences can and must be first resolved in reason. It is the faith that professes to be bound by reason.

The author such ideas is the former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The quote above, and this:

Dialogue, at its best, is based on the idea that it is better to persuade than to coerce.

However useful coerced agreements may be for a time (and they have their usefulness), they are unstable without ultimate intellectual agreement based on principles of reason known to all.

is from the Catholic blog Ignatius Insight, and is worth studying.

Hat tip to Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. and his wonderful blog.

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