Sunday, July 9, 2017
--- Notes on reason ---
Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than
that of blindfolded fear.
Mr. President had a lot of trouble from the church in the early United States. He thought that they had way too much power. They didn't think that they wanted to lose any of that power. And so it goes...
As it stands, I agree with Mr. Jefferson inasmuch as God doesn't mind people questioning him. Jesus didn't bust Thomas' chops when Thomas doubted him, and the Bible includes this very passage: "Come now, let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18).
I am a Christian and I have experiential reasons to be. I've always held that I cannot expect people to believe things they have no reason to believe and I realize that others experiences are not the same as mine.
And what I'm saying at the bedrock level is that experience comes first, then reason, and then belief - that in all things.
A person cannot be expected to accept things they have not experienced, even if the only experience is reading something in a book and saying, "That makes sense."
But experience isn't foolproof. A person can perceive something and say, "I'm imagining that." That's why reason must come next.
Belief is firmly bound with responsibility. A person can choose to believe or disbelieve anything. The powers of human beings to believe what they want is truly awe-inspiring. But then they will have to deal with the consequences of what they have believed. There is no choice in that.