The false dichotomy between faith and reason
All thought must have a foundation of beliefs in order to process information for reasoning. Being that we are constantly forced into making decisions, other than being bipolar, we have no option but to embrace a set of beliefs to predicate our decisions upon. Although there are many ideologies upon which to form a foundation of thought, they can be reduced into two basic categories, herein referred to as spiritual and material, or sometimes distinguished as faith and reason(religion and science). Keep in mind that these terms are not precise seeing that the materialist will show a spiritual side and does place faith in something, and the spiritual man is not without reason or necessarily in denial of science, although a part of his reason is based upon a trust that there are things in existence which cannot be seen or proven by man, but nonetheless, are a reality. Therefore, there is a false dichotomy between faith and “reason”, because everyone who believes anything, or holds any ideology or belief system, embraces both. But even so, when faith is misplaced, reason becomes corrupted.
Because of conflicts between spiritual and material(worldly) foundations of thought, there becomes a necessity to choose one over the other as the predominate basis in making choices; for you cannot establish a direction in life based upon uncertainty. As it is written: “You cannot serve God and mammon”. It is easy for one to say they are agnostic, but in practice when making certain choices, some decisions must be made by faith; and the rejection of a faith often is in itself an opposing faith, or a faith against a faith. For if we are to believe anything, we must base trust in what knowledge is. And we cannot always do that solely on what is proven or accepted as fact because of the many unknowns. For even with all we know, there are gaps in our knowledge created by unknowns. It is often necessary to fill these gaps, which we attempt to do by reasoning. This means that along with provable certainties, we also all choose to believe some things which are only accepted by faith. This is true whether we believe in God or not. For while one can claim only to believe in science, it is almost impossible, because at this point scientific knowledge is too incomplete by itself to completely support an ideology. And because it is incomplete, one who believes only in science is often forced to interpret what the science means, which gives birth to theories. This too becomes faith wherein one puts trust in his own reasoning. For we cannot make any sense of anything without first laying a foundation of what we accept as knowledge. And without this foundation, we are tossed to and fro being unstable and confused. Herein lies the Great Division between the spiritual man and the carnal man sometimes referred to imprecisely as, science versus religion, or reason versus faith. In reality, those terms create a false dichotomy; for faith is hardly without reason, nor is secular reasoning completely devoid of faith.
A secular belief system based solely upon scientific reasoning places more limitations on knowledge than does a system based upon faith in God, in part because the secularist will reject knowledge received by revelation or through testimony of a personal experience. While often this can be the correct thing to do, there are cases where revelations, experiences, and testimonies are indeed true. Even an event that takes place with no witnesses still happens. So likewise, the rejection of all things that cannot be proven also will include some truths. Nonetheless, by doing so, secularists put academia in the position of being the exclusive arbitrators in determining what qualifies for knowledge and biases arise wherein there is often an exclusion of the beliefs and knowledge held by others if it dose not conform to their ideology.
Because of the gaps in knowledge, to connect the pieces together, secularists are themselves forced to resort to faith to manufacture links, often at best based upon circumstantial evidence. They rely upon theories to arrive at explanations and conclusions. In doing so, however, their explanations often tend to create even more questions, which in turn demands an even greater faith and an expansion of theories. Thus, in many cases, the materialist ends up being no less believing, no less devoted, no less fanatical, nor any less evangelical, and far more wildly imaginative than his religious counterpart.
Nonetheless, when popular ideas and theories gain enough traction in intellectual circles, they often become accepted as a reality and are incorporated and “certified” as knowledge, even without sufficient supporting evidence. Thus, pure science is undermined and in many cases, the occupation embraces faith and becomes a profession with a ‘religious’ nature. Agenda driven ideologies become dogma and are embraced by the academics, creating numerous instances wherein things are treated as indisputable fact when at best they are unknown. But then too, many things which are indeed true are treated as falsehoods or dismissed. The end result is science ceases to be as scientific as it claims.
H.G. Wells, whom I have often cited, a man sold solely on science and reason, exhibits his faith in the following words,
“There was no Creation in the past, we begin to realize, but eternally there is creation; there was no Fall to account for the conflict of good and evil, but a stormy ascent. Life as we know it is a mere beginning….“ “……We have still barely emerged from among the animals in their struggle for existence. We live only in the early dawn of human self-consciousness and in the first awakening of the spirit of mastery.”
This is a statement of faith and a religious expression of secular-humanism wherein mankind is essentially evolving to the status of being “God”. To further illustrate this religious aspect of secular humanism embraced by materialists we can continue with Wells’s writing where he says,
“Man’s soul is no longer his own. It is, he discovers, part of a greater being which lived before he was born and will survive him. The idea of a survival of the definite individual with all the accidents and idiosyncrasies of his temporal nature upon him dissolves to nothing in this new view of immortality…..……The first sentence in the modern creed must be, not “I believe,” but “I give myself.”
Thus accordingly, the secular mindset holds that creation is and of itself; there is nothing more. Man’s sole purpose is not as an individual but in being a “part of a greater being”(the collective). It is to give himself to the “being” for the advancement of mankind (the being) to higher levels. As individuals alone we have little to no value, but as a apart of the collective, we are as single cells in the immortal body of humanity. Our sole purpose of existing is to help advance the immortal body of civilization through the stages of evolution. Cells die, but they are replaced by new and the body lives. Collectively, we are the supreme being. There is no God above us. It is this vein of thinking that puts mankind above all and invites justification for man to act as God, to decide who is innocent and who is guilty, who should live and who should die. The lives of individuals become dispensable if deemed a liability to the advancement or benefit of the body of humanity. This rejection of faith in God creates a faith, albeit, an atheistic one with all the aspects of a religion.
Wells was an understudy of Thomas Huxley (“Darwin’s bulldog“) and his writing exemplifies the strain of thought that was widespread in academia in the early 1900s. Wells was not an originator of this thought but was indoctrinated into this line of thinking in the universities and rejected faith in God.
It was this worldview which gave birth to the eugenics movement to facilitate evolution in the process whereby the “superior” elements supersede the weaker. The ideology spread worldwide and particularly throughout institutions of “higher” learning. The introduction of this into Germany was inspirational in the Nazis’ determination that the Aryans were the most advanced race, and thus, not only had the right, but an obligation to the future of humanity to supersede the inferior elements which were destroying the world and slowing the evolutionary process. Only those deemed the most perfect had value, the lives of all others were disposable and worthy of life only as long and in as much as they were useful in the advancement of the Übermensch.
By this time, the Soviet Union also had already promoting the unrealistic concept of perfection in a material world, but more emphasis was placed on the march toward social perfection rather than genetic superiority. The result, however, was no better under Communism than it was under Nazism; but even though the Communists were responsible for many more deaths than the Nazis, communism has not not attained to the same degree of stigma. As a result, today even in western societies, Marxist ideologies are woven into progressive socialist agendas and Darwinism is foundational in governmental education.
The words of Vladimir Lenin, “We may regard the material and cosmic world as the supreme being, as the cause of all causes, as the creator of heaven and earth,” may be well and widely accepted throughout universities everywhere.
Well over a hundred million lives have fallen victim to materialists ideologies which are essentially based on the concept that man is the supreme being and that the supreme men are “God.” How this repeats itself in the future is yet to be seen, but it will be seen if man continues down that road.
According to secular humanism, not only have the species been evolving, but law is “living and breathing” and also evolving. For law, having no source other than from those persons who create it, is relative, arbitrary, and at this point incomplete. Thus, whatever seems the most expedient or beneficial at the moment is deemed acceptable. The problem however, is that what benefits some may be totally devastating for others.
From this conflict of interests comes the concept of the “common good” wherein the benefits for society as a whole are weighed against the rights, freedoms, or even the lives of those whose suffering would seem small in comparison to the benefits reaped by society. In all actuality, however, the benefit of the elite ruling class carries more weight than the “common good” of society, and it is arrogantly viewed by them as being the same.
In the elitists mind, if a few years of holocaust purges out the “corrupt” and “inferior” elements of humanity and brings a thousand year reign of a superior and more perfect civilization, then so be it, it was merely a part of the process. Besides, how much future suffering will be avoided by eliminating the “sub-humans” and their posterity who were spared being born? The overall gain is a plus. This type of rational is the direct result of reason absent a faith in God. It is the place reason always ends when it travels alone.
Faith or Reason
Reason absent faith has proven itself a force of destruction. By the same token, faith absent reason is no less destructive than reason without faith. Man cannot live without faith; he is intellectually paralyzed without it. On the other hand, by faith alone without reason, man is also lost. Only when knowledge is perfect can reason be perfect; and a faith that is not misplaced possesses the same virtue as knowledge; for indeed, it is knowledge.
As many have been destroyed by the reasoning of the Godless, a great many have also been destroyed by faith in a “God”. What the two have in common, however, is materialism. For the as the Godless have based their ideology upon the physical world, those religions responsible for the murder of countless individuals did the same by establishing their faith in the physical realm. For although they professed to be spiritual, in practice their deeds were physical, aimed at fulfilling worldly ambitions. This is as true of the Church of Rome it is of Islam today.
Although the evangelical Christian may preach about hell, the Islamic fanatic believes it his duty to expedite your arrival as soon and as horrifically as possible. The faith of the former is in the spiritual; he awaits a kingdom, and judgment is carried out by God alone in his time. On the other hand, the latter acts in the place of God, to execute judgment and establish a physical kingdom of “God” on earth. The pursuit of an earthy kingdom was the ambition also of Roman Catholicism, of both the Nazis and Communists, and it is also the vision of “progressive” elitists today.
Thus, religions that base their actions on the establishment of a kingdom in the physical realm have more in common with communists, fascists, and other secular collectivists who seek to do the same, than they do with those who base their faith on an everlasting omnipotent Creator, who has endowed men with a free will and inalienable rights!
Reason alone did not bring freedom, it did not create rights, nor did it bring justice; it has always done the opposite. For reason never travels alone; it is always accompanied by ideology. And reason is to be a servant of faith, a helper to bring invisible principles into the knowledge of a physical world as a constant foundation. For, if we are to avoid catastrophe, we must balance faith with reason, reason with faith, but the redeeming virtue of reason comes from faith.
RAS – 2007