04/20/2005: Faithless Reasoning?
The papers are just chock full of articles about the "meaning of" Cardinal Ratzinger's (Benedict XVI) elevation to Pope and effect of his doctrinaire policies for the Catholic Church...
But I think you'd agree with me that to some extent Religious people (Popes, Priests, Minister or just Lay people) often claim "Faith" means "not-questioning" as if it's a matter of transcending reason, or ignoring alternate reasoning, or putting aside *inconvienent facts* which don't "fit" these "absolute, unassailable truths." One commentator put it..."it's about having a 'adult' approach to accepting the teachings..."In or Out"...not as a "Cafeteria Catholic."
But for me...that's exactly the problem...my philosophy (or faith in anything) must be a combined whole of both *reason* and *truths* and *faith* as one seamless point of view.
I can't imagine using this human intellect and reason I've clearly been provided (and hopefully keep adding to) for any other purpose than to *examine*, *question*, *explore*, *review* and come to a view of this life and world I live in as part of a fabric of the whole and treat its wonders and revealed knowledge with that respect of what I have learned from it. If this is not the basis of an "adult" formulation of one's "place in the world" and philosophy and *faith* ...then nothing is.
The notion that this Religious Faith must be "unquestioned" is not only passingly untrue (The Church has changed and reformed itself on any number of core TRUTHS) But fails to coexist with my own very practical nature to use the Reasoning abilities I've been given.
This article by Michael Novak Culture In Crisis is but an example of the false notion of some imaginary "Relativism of the Hedonists versus Truths of the Faithful" straw man set up to proclaim the Relgious TRUTH as the "winner"; Relativism Losers to go directly to HELL without passing GO or collecting that $200.
What a bunch of Bunk!!
Moreover, are the blatant "inconsistencies" and "hypocrisies" of philosophies which fit the principles for a "select few" and not the entire world community, or focus on a narrow band of TRUTHS while ignoring violations front and center in the countries and places which ought to be given at least as much attention. These factors militate in my mind for NOT following an unquestioned set of disjointed principles as mere Faithless Reasoning.
So, to some extent articles like this one called Verities which laudes this return to the "Absolute Truths" as a rejection of this claim of "Relativism" may have it just right -- though for the incorrect underlying premise. Yet --it may be time to separate out those adult sensibilities and find the rational reasoning people who seek a unified vision of their Faith -- and as one they can both appreciate and Live with in this world -- from those who would follow anything "Unquestioningly" as their vision of the Truth.
Unfortunately, for me, it appears the Catholic Church in chosing Cardinal Ratzinger as it's new Pope has chosen to maintain a Faith which rejects the *reasoning mind* for the *unquestioning mind* -- a place where my *Adult* Faith and Reason can not follow.
Karen on 04.20.05 @ 08:42 AM CST