··· Tags pointing to: reason ···

The world is more like a poem than a syllogism.

— Martin Cothran, “How Literature Solves the Problem of Evil”  <link>

A key has no logic to its shape. Its logic is: it turns the lock.

— G.K. Chesterton  <link>

We cannot be sure whether we are loving God, although we may have good reasons for believing that we are. But we can know quite well whether we are loving our neighbor.

— St. Teresa of Avila  <link>

Natural Law

This thing which I called for convenience the Tao, and others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitude, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in history of the world. What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) ‘ideologies’, all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they possess. If my duty to my parents is superstition, then so is my duty to posterity. If justice is superstition, then so is my duty to my country or my race. If pursuit of scientific knowledge is a real value, then so is conjugal fidelity. The rebellion of new ideologies against the Tao is a rebellion of the branches against the tree: if the rebels could succeed they would find that they destroyed themselves. The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than imagining a new primary colour, or, indeed, of creating a new sun and a new sky for it to move in.

— C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man  <link>

Faith Purifies Reason

…faith purifies reason. As a theological virtue, faith liberates reason from presumption, the typical temptation of the philosopher.

— Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 76  <link>

God’s love for us is not the reason for which we should love him. God’s love for us is the reason for us to love ourselves. How could we love ourselves without this motive? It is impossible for man to love himself except in this roundabout way.

— Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace  <link>

Reason and Faith

Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, ‘Why should anything go right; even observation or deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?’ The young sceptic says. ‘I have a right to think for myself.’ But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, ‘I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all.’

— G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy  <link>

Reason’s last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it.

— Blaise Pascal, Pensées  <link>