Beyond Reason


Me and the Storm Troopers

Posted in Personal by Abigail on March 30, 2007

Tonight was a night of memories. Momentous in its grandeur. Ok, just kidding. A little over the top. But what Star Wars fan hasn’t always wanted the following?

Storm Troopers

No, I did not stoop to the level of a Star Wars Convention (although I would consider buying my own light saber). This is actually at a concert of John
Williams music. Unfortunately, they left the Star Wars music for the end and I hardly made it. I freely admit my inability to appreciate classical music. It all sounds the same to me. Sorry, Mom. I am a failure. 10 years of piano lessons obviously didn’t culturize me. Give me Star Wars! Give me pop culture! Keep your refinement!

Anyway, my blog NEEDED a break from the seriousity (unnecessary noun form of a word that already has a noun).

Take care! Good night! Summer is coming!!

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Christening of the Blog

Posted in Blogging,Faith,Philosophy by Abigail on March 23, 2007

So The Unnamable Blog is finally receiving a name: “Beyond Reason”.

The supreme function of reason is to show that some things are beyond reason.
— Blaise Pascal

What more could be added to that?

Unfortunately, a lot. The connection and discord between faith and reason has been confounding for… forever. As I am adept at solving thousand-year old mysteries, I’ve taken this on. I do it in my spare time. 🙂

Having been a Christian for a large portion of my life, I believe all kinds of crazy things. Things a person can’t know. And, being as inquisitive and “rational” as I am, this discord has been apparent to me for a very long time. That was essentially the core of the “Philosophy and Theology” posts, although free will and other things entered the picture.

I realized recently that I’ve been hearing philosophy all my life. Every Sunday. That’s because I go to church every Sunday. They teach you ethics, the meaning of life, and even all kinds of academic things like studying a document appropriately (the Bible). The church is filled with rational people. But Christianity isn’t wholly rational. It has serious levels of mysticism.

After you’ve accepted that some things are beyond you (a concept I have named my entire blog after), you’ve consciously entered the world of faith. Although reason should tell you that, before that point, you were already in the world of faith; it was just unconscious. Here are two conclusions I’ve come to. 1) Faith and reason are two sides of the same coin. They are indispensable to each other and we think too simply when we demand one without the other. They can not be separated. 2) Faith is what allows me to reason and reason tells me I am using faith.

One last thought which should be obvious but may not be. This faith, that I am referring to, is not religious faith. It is the set of assumptions we make daily relative to all human beings. I find Sam Harris’ book, The End of Faith, very, very amusing. It wouldn’t be hard to demonstrate that he has made assumptions. In other words, he acts on faith. Being human means being derivative, living within a framework that was there before you got there. But that’s for another post.

Thoughts?

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Flys Again!

Posted in Faith,Philosophy by Abigail on March 16, 2007

For those of you unaware of the close connection between philosophy and imagining your food turning into various imaginary characters, let me elucidate! The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) is the subject of a hypothetical situation used to demonstrate the ilogic of one statement. What is the statement? “I believe in God because science can not prove He does not exist.” Enter the flying spaghetti monster. The adversary responds, “Well, science can not prove that flying spaghetti monsters do not exist, so they must exist also!” It is an excellent point. Lack of evidence is not evidence. (Anyone thinking of Iraq at this point?)

Brad suggested I raise this topic; so, I am. Many good posts on other blogs explore the FSM.

Minds, Meaning and Morals
The Alanyzer
Maverick Philosopher

My take on the FSM? (Because of course you came to MY blog for MY opinion.) First, the point of using the FSM argument is perfect. I agree with it and could not agree with it more: lack of evidence is not evidence*. But this raises two other questions: what evidence do Christians/theists/religionists use to support belief in God and how much evidence is needed? This raises the question of the nature of belief. What exactly is it and, considering the finity of all human beings, how much faith is “allowed” or should be expected or is within reason? And then, with that in mind, the question becomes, how do faith and reason interact?

Let me start with “I don’t know.” And let me also add that, while this argument is, in its strictest form, perfectly benign, I believe it also has a malignant element. It is entirely possible that some people will stop thinking, after the first point is made, and assume that there could be no evidence for God. However, this would require a wholly different argument than what the FSM argument makes. Am I going to make an argument for the existence of God or belief in Him? Nope. Maybe another time when I have a spare 10 years. This post is about the FSM and any responses you may have to it.

Thoughts? Conversions? Confessions? Creatures you create with your spaghetti?

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*There are solid exceptions to this rule; it depends on the nature of the situation.

The Abolition of Man

Posted in Philosophy by Abigail on March 10, 2007

This is a very interesting article on the above mentioned book (by Lewis), reductionism, and science in general.

I only read a couple pages, unfortunately. Must go to bed.

In response to you guys who have posted – Jai and Brad – I am going to get back to you! I greatly appreciate your thoughts, as always. School and other such things have been taking over my life. But, spring break is on the way!

Enjoy the article! It’s good. At least the first couple pages…

Oh, here’s a fascinating discussion my friend brought up on his blog. You should check it out.