The thing about Reason
by MW Cook
They tell me that I should not rely on my Reason. It’s faulty, after all. Prone to bias and laziness. It’s a good point. But what should I rely on, then? Which rule is higher or more reliable than my Reason?
The Absolute is higher. That it makes sense. There’s nothing Absolute about me. So I’ll never be Absolutely right on my own.
But where is the Absolute? Well, that depends on who I ask.
When I ask the religious friend, they point to God. Rather, they use their Book to point to God. Makes sense. But how can I know that the Book is from / pointing to the Absolute? I can only see one way of justifying a Book: by weighing and judging it through my imperfect but thoroughly lovely Reason.
Sure, I suppose I could engage it through other faculties. A friend once told me he trusted his Book because of the positive spiritual feeling it gave him when he read it. But I get similar feelings when I listen to Matt Redman, Noah and the Whale, and the Portal 2 soundtrack.
Others have told me to engage the Book with Faith. I’ve never been clear on what that means. It sounds like accepting something with the kind of trust a child might have. If that were a good route I’d just accept whatever Book I was first given.
No, it’s my Reason that needs to be convinced that a certain Book or Word comes from the Absolute.
My Reason isn’t perfect. It’s like a sharp tool. It’ll hurt me if I use it wrong. It’ll dull if I use it wrong. I’ve misused it in the past, I expect I’ll misuse it in the future. I’d wager I’m misusing it in some way now. Sure. But it seems to be one of the best tools I have. And using it clumsily is better than not using it at all.