Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The tendency of reason to judge on the basis of inadequate evidence

 Becker, p. 101-103.

Faith humbles itself before God and clings to his Word as the source of wisdom and truth.  Reason, on the other hand, in its corruption and pride, always makes the mistake of exalting its very limited experience and equating it with omniscience.  When Luther says that reason judges by the "isolated instances and beginnings" of evil, he points to a basic weakness of the Aristotelian and scholastic approach to truth.  It is the very nature of inductive reasoning that most of its universals are theoretical constructions.  Reason is not able to acquire universal truth just because man is not god.  the experience of man is always limited to isolated moments (puncta et pricipia) in the vast expanse of time and space.  Even at their highest reaches the senses can acquire knowledge that is merely fragmentary.  Self-evident as this is, men in practice tend to forget it. 

...But again we must call attention to the corruption and depravity of fallen reason.  Instead of viewing the data of experience as precious gifts of God, who has given us all things richly to enjoy, men exalt their limited experience to the point where they consider themselves competent to sit in judgment over God.

...Having done this, it proceeds to permit its fabricated universals to sit in judgment on God and his Word.  

From The Foolishness of God by Siegbert Becker (c) 1982 Northwestern
Publishing House (www.nph.net). All rights reserved. Reprinted with


Bror Erickson said...

Interesting observations. And the problem we deal with most today is just that, people putting too much trust in "reason". In a weird way this is true even of existentialism and postmodernism, that on the surface seem to be very critical of reason, and yet find themselves in the predicament they are in because of uncritically accepting dichotomies of Kantian flavor that have no place for revelation based on faulty reason.

Brigitte said...

At the moment I feel very useless regarding discussions about Kant, Hegel and all that. One would have to read all that.

"Protect us, dear Lord from this." Too much crap to sort through. Sorry to sound like that.

I should try and talk to Professor Strand about it. I think he is writing a book on apologetics in relation to epistemology. He was on sabbatical but I don't think it got finished, though we did talk about self-publishing last time we were at Love Life Conference meeting. Should press him a little on it.

Bror Erickson said...

Well, I'm beggining to see very little reason at all to deal with publishing companies. Seems like in 15 minutes you can upload to Kindle, in 24 hours it is for sale. you get 70% royalties, and they market for you!
See what do publishing companies do anymore? CPH just doesn't even comprehend marketing. They moan and groan criticize, and make you go get all the permissions, etc. then they change your manuscript with out even consulting to say things it wasn't supposed to say.
And wipf and stock, they are nicer to work with, but again, you do the work, they get the profit.
I don't know how this will work when it comes to translation, but I suppose I'll get permissions like I did before, work out a contract and write the royalty checks myself.

Brigitte said...

I should have you talk with him.