Walking On The Edge


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exploring faith and reason

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Walking On The Edge

  1. 1. of Reason and Awe<br />Walking on the Edge <br />
  2. 2. We discover our world through reasonWe are also emotional beings<br />
  3. 3. The ineffable<br />To defy description, words are not enough<br />Transcend language concepts<br />
  4. 4. The Human Paradox<br /> Concealed within our reason, is something unknown. <br />Imagine living in the ‘awe-filled’ state all the time.<br />
  5. 5. Who’s going to take out the garbage?<br />
  6. 6. Pre-Socratic <br />Philosopher<br />THALES<br />“You don’t need God<br /> to understand the <br />world.”<br />THE WORLD IS A <br />RATIONAL PLACE AND<br />REASON IS YOUR<br />FIRST TOOL.<br />
  7. 7. Christopher DeCarloHow to Become a Really Good Pain …<br />Be epistemically responsible<br />
  8. 8. Episteme = Greek for knowledge<br />Any monkey can have an opinion – <br />Be responsible for your beliefs and question their truth.<br />
  9. 9. Socrates: humble enough to admit he didn’t know; bold enough to challenge others that they didn’t either.<br />
  10. 10. Plato’s unseen world of forms: the realm of absolutes is knowable by reason: the senses can be deceiving<br />Math is not invented <br />but discovered.<br />
  11. 11. Aristotle’s syllogistic logic<br />Wants to standardize<br />Logic:<br />Premise 1 = true<br />Premise 2= true<br />Conclusion= must be<br />true.<br />
  12. 12. Begins the Age of Enlightenment<br />
  13. 13. Humanism: We don’t need God or the church to know what is true and goodReason is the key that unlocks human potential.<br />
  14. 14. What might be a ‘rational conclusion to that belief?The Empire of Illusion: Is this society really better than those of the past?<br />
  15. 15. The danger of utopian thinking:ethnocentric thinking (my tribe is better than yours)<br />
  16. 16.
  17. 17. Some use reason to support prejudice.<br />Religious fundamentalists<br />Allows no room for debate<br />or dialogue <br /> Fundamentalism is a mindset that refutes any other ‘truth’ but their own.<br />New Atheists (scientific fundamentalism)<br /> Allows no room for debate or dialogue<br /> Scientific fundamentalism does the same thing: example of Hawkins<br /> ‘memes’…no empirical evidence they exist<br />
  18. 18. The sublime nature of realitygenerates a sense of awe and wonder<br />We are a living miracle: the ineffable is a part of daily life. – Rabbi Michael Lerner<br />
  19. 19. Susan Jacoby<br />Why is an experience of beauty any different than other experiences?<br />Why put them in a ‘transcendent’ category? <br />
  20. 20. Narrator’s POV<br /> An inquiry into a question must begin with a presupposition.<br />We make statements that presuppose things to be true without actually having proven them.<br />Example: Will the party be any fun?<br />This presupposes that parties CAN be fun.<br />
  21. 21. Narrator: We can ask questions about the world that presuppose reason to be the only way to the truth.<br /> He maintains that experiences are possible that ‘feel’ to be more than that.<br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Rabbi Michael Lerner: The universe functions as a seamlessly integrated whole. This includes its physical and ethical dimension.<br />
  24. 24. Chris Hedges: observes many of the world’s cultures try to respond to a common human experience – something that is transcendent and ineffable.<br /> Sometimes this awe is experienced as fear.<br />
  25. 25. Art : articulate the unutterable<br />
  26. 26. Ecclesiastes and its author: Kohelet(It’s an ancient question – what’s the point?<br />
  27. 27. Value life and live the present<br />
  28. 28. Who can understand everything?<br />Susan Jacoby<br />Believers say, “I don’t understand” but what they really mean is <br />“I don’t accept it.” Then they ascribe it to MYSTERY.<br />Dead is dead. Get over it.<br />Reason helps us cope.<br />Christopher DeCarlo<br />A rationalist will refuse mystery because they see it as ignorance.<br />Different ways of knowing: symbolic representation (like math) and other forms of reason will never get to the heart of the ‘mystery’ of life.<br />
  29. 29. Why is there something when there could be nothing?<br />
  30. 30. Martin Buber<br /> Faith is not about holding beliefs and doctrines about what you think is true. It doesn’t fit into a formula. <br />
  31. 31. Worms in one pocket; angels in the other.<br />
  32. 32. What do we know for certain?<br />
  33. 33. Reason can only take us so far.<br />
  34. 34. Reason enlivens the mind.<br />
  35. 35. The ineffable enlivens the heart.<br />
  36. 36. The true battle is not between reason and faith but between hope and despair.<br />