Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Faith vs Reason

Faith and reason are incompatible. There is no room in reason for faith, and there is no room in faith for reason. they are diametrically opposed. Reason is the faculty by which man identifies and integrates the material provided by or ultimately provided by his senses. Its method is called logic, which is the art of non-contradictory identification.
“Reason integrates man’s perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions,” wrote Ayn Rand in “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World”; she continued: “thus raising man’s knowledge from the perceptual level, which he shares with animals, to the conceptual level, which he alone can reach. The method which reason employs in this process is logic—and logic is the art of non-contradictory identification.” She defined: “Reason is the perception of reality, and rests on a single axiom: the Law of Identity.- “Philosophy: Who Needs It” p.62

Mysticism, however, is the acceptance of allegations without evidence, against one's own reasoning, often despite the presence of evidence to the contrary. Its method is called faith, which is a short-circuit of the mind. Faith is the abrogation of the mind. The numbing of one's own perception of existence and ultimately the rejection of one's own right to live. “Mysticism is the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as “instinct,” “intuition,” “revelation,” or any form of “just knowing.” Mysticism is the claim to the perception of some other reality—other than the one in which we live—whose definition is only that it is not natural, it is supernatural, and is to be perceived by some form of unnatural or supernatural means.” - Rand, (ibid p.62)

If evidence is available to support a claim, then a validating appeal to reason alleviates need for faith. Then there is no need to dispense with the requirement of evidence in order to accept the claim as true. Nonetheless, if there is no evidence, in support of a claim, yet acceptance of the claim as knowledge is desired, then only by dismissing the requirement of evidence in support of the claim, and accepting it in spite of the lack of evidence by “faith” can the claim be accorded truth status. Essentially, the process of believing by “faith” is a method of self deceit.

What is the nature of god-belief. Is it distinguishable from imagination? Can the god believer describe a method whereby another person may reliably distinguish any difference between what they believe god to be and what they imagine as god.? Depending on mystical epistemology of “faith”, the Christian would, if there were evidence to support their claim that 'god exists', not need to appeal to faith. She could appeal to reason, and since reason is the method whereby human beings are best able to ascertain reality, her knowledge would be validated. Faith would then necessarily be a fallacy.

In Hebrews 11:1 faith is described: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." What is meant by "substance of things hoped for"? What is meant by "evidence of things not seen"?
Can such thing as 'substance' originating from hopes actually exist? Only if consciousness can create, modify, or manipulate reality. But that is impossible, for consciousness is merely an awareness of existence.
“If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something.” - Ayn Rand via Galt's speech in “For The New Intellectual” p.124

Rand's great insight that frees the minds of Humanity from the tyranny of Christianity is that “Existence exists”. Instantiated existing things cannot be 'created', for nothing comes from nothing; something cannot come from nothing. Conservation of Mass-Energy is fixed reality. Matter and energy may change form, but new matter does not suddenly appear from nothingness as is predicated by Christianity. Living beings are manufactured by nature, using elements, in the form of molecules, which already exist; our bodies put us together. That is why we eat regularly. The nutrients we eat are used by our bodies to grow. Our bodies are not created. A pregnant woman is referred to as "eating for two" when she dines. The nutrients she consumes are used both for her body, and for the body growing and being manufactured within her. No organism that ever lived, is living, or ever will live was, is, or will be created. Judging by that, the notion of 'hope' springing forth into 'substance' makes no sense.

Regarding 'evidence of things not seen'? If evidence cannot be detected by any sensory perception or instrumentation, then in what sense is evidence present? Information provided by our senses or instrumentation is necessary to claim that we have evidence. An objection that various phenomena cannot be detected by one or more senses yet is still admitted as evidence may be made? In such cases, the phenomena in question may be detected by other means. Employing Logic and the Law of Causality empowers the reasoner to deductively infer modally following conclusions from what ever valid evidence is available.

Is this what Hebrews 11:1 meant by 'evidence of things not seen'? Did the writer of Hebrews mean things that can be evidenced by appeals to our other senses or instrumentation? Or, did he mean wishful thinking? I speculate to the later. But no amount of wishing will accomplish anything for anybody. In order to reach any kind of goal in reality, human beings must use their innate reasoning ability.
To assert the contrary, that faith is superior to reason, is to presuppose, by faith, a vast array of propositions. Circular special pleading and gross question begging may operate to sooth the emotional needs of the religious acolyte, but in so doing they commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. “First identified by Ayn Rand, it is the fallacy of using a concept while denying the validity of its genetic roots, i.e., of an earlier concept(s) on which it logically depends.” - Leonard Peikoff “editor’s footnote to Ayn Rand’s “Philosophical Detection,” - “Philosophy : Who Needs It”. p.22 The advocate of faith over reason steals the conceptions of reality and causality while denying the genetic roots of existence. This they do to assert the primacy of their fantasy of a ruling consciousness. Thus faith is a method whereby Christian believers are able to deceive themselves.

1 comment:

Daniel GodIsTime said...

"Regarding 'evidence of things not seen'? If evidence cannot be detected by any sensory perception or instrumentation, then in what sense is evidence present?"

Faith IS the evidence. Where there is faith in God, "there's your sign", so-to-speak. Cripplingly circular.