Theology uses faith, not reason.
There is nothing reasonable about the concept that an omnipotent being could create the cosmos, atoms, and the platypus, while at the same time allow his "greatest" creation (mankind) go so far out of control.
So in that aspect, I disagree with you.
I also disagree that this is a throwaway topic. I think it's a good one.
This may be a throw away topic, but I was thinking today that a big problem with Religious Philosophy is that it must, at some point, rely on dogmattic truths.
Is the acceptance of dogmattic truths what seperates theology and philosophy? In the title of this Forum, it says "Theology uses documents, philosophy uses reason". I would argue that Theology must use reason in almost the exact same manner that philosophy does, given one major difference: the acceptance of premises that we cannot prove i.e. God exists, God does not Exist.
So I ask, is there a way to do theology without dogmattic premesis.
Everything we talk about, even in hard core science, very quickly requires evidence that we did not produce or collect ourselves. So we need to have some degree of faith in the fidelity of the science we cite. So from a rhetorical (and epistemological) perspective we're always sublimating faith-based beliefs, even in the most rational of discussions.
With religion, though, we add in people's emotional attachments, the implications for morals and ultimate truths, and of course fallacies like appeal to authority (i.e. invoking textual sources as sacred), which make it an extremely sensitive hot-button topic.
But at the level of the individual discussion, many truths need to be assumed without direct knowledge or evidence, even in science.
I don't place science and reason on the same level as witchcraft. There IS a traceable chain of evidence in science, for instance. But at the level of the individual discussion, many truths need to be assumed without direct knowledge or evidence, even in science. I have to trust that the research underlying my medical practice is accurate, for instance, even though my experience is all anecdotal and I did not generate any of the primary data.
As for emotions -- if I challenge you as to how you KNOW that cell membranes are composed of phospholipids (for instance), that will not evoke the same reaction as if I challenged someone as to how they KNOW that Jesus was the son of God (for instance).
In other words, the stakes are higher for religious belief -- people are more willing to live or die (rhetorically) on a point made out of faith if it's religious -- whereas with science and logic, I'd imagine most people would be content to shrug and admit lack of knowledge.
I don't think it's accurate to generalize about all religious people as denying irrationality.
The project to marry religion with reason died with the advent of modern philosophy, esp with the likes of Descartes, Spinoza, Kierkegaard, etc, and moreover the masters of irrational thought like Freud and Jung. In this day in age it's OK to believe in something without that belief well-founded in reason.
What would you all say to someone who had an experience, or experiences, that led them to conclude "rationally" that something spritual exists beyond realm of our normal empircal understandings? Personally, I think that if you would immediately judge him to be irrational without weighing the situation unbiasedly... that would be materialistic dogma. If you go into a situation already assuming that your beliefs about the nature of the universe are so well grounded in reality that they can not be challanged, then you can't blame someone else for doing the same thing.
As an aside, I want to thank Aedes for (I believe) attempting giving the "religious" a fair shot. There are a lot of unblinkingly dogmatic religious folks out there, and too ofthen the seem to have the loudest voices. It's nice when people can look past some of that...
boagie, I hope I have always attempted to be accountable for anything I've posted here. I don't think I've resorted to quoting "proclamations", nor complained when my ideas are honestly scrutinized.
. It is however, wrong to adopt theory or belief as immutable fact, in science or theology.
Now logic is useful but it is not always used to discover truth, it may be used in debate simply to win an argument, leaving the truth far behind.
I could not agree more, but, it is entirely accurate to generalize about all religious people, for it is a characteristic all humanity shares in. The difference is, the amount of reason and reality within the mythology itself. Mythologies have informed peoples in the past about the nature of their world and existence, it is nolonger up to the task, but perhaps, a new more realistic myth will be created.
No that has not been my experience of you, but then it was not meant to be taken personally, it is though a generality with foundation. I find it the norm with believers, whether it be in this forum or in my private life.