Jamie – bit more on reason being my “religion and God”
You say that I make reason my religion and my God, despite my denying it and giving the example of compassion and morality which I think at least as important as reason. Here’s a quote from you:
Stephen: The examples you list (compassion, morality) would be subject to your continuum of reasonableness, correct? Therefore, reason is more important because it is the standard by which you judge. For ex., if you did not think a moral choice was reasonable you probably wouldn’t make that choice.
My reply. Yes morality is subject to reason, but that doesn’t entail I think reason supreme. Unlike Kant, I don’t think reason can ultimately underpin or justify morality. Reason can reveal e.g. contradictions in our moral beliefs etc. It can also reveal unacknowledged consequences of our moral beliefs. But it cannot conjure up our basic moral principles in the first place. They are primary. Reason necessarily plays a secondary role. So no, I don’t consider reason of supreme importance.
Jamie, you then say:
Emile and Anticant postulate that [Stephen’s supreme value] is truth [not reason], I think. But I’d say that you would even subject truth claims to reason, again making reason more important.
So if reason if even more important than truth then reason is your god. And if reason is a god, then why isn’t that a religion?
My response. As I say, reason is not of *supreme* importance to me. I have already illustrated that. Yes I apply reason – but why? Only because I believe it is our best route to the truth. So it turns out I value reason only because I value truth (if I were genuinely convinced reason doesn’t lead to truth, I would cease relying on it). So that makes truth a higher value for me.
See – reason is neither my God nor my religion (but maybe truth is!). It’s just that I, like you, think it very important, and rely on it constantly so far as trying to find out what’s true is concerned.
You do too. You will even use it to support your religious beliefs if you think it can. But the minute reason looks like threatening your religious beliefs, well then, in effect, you stick your fingers in your ears and go “Nope, I am not listening – you can’t trust reason – it’s just another faith position!”
Of course anyone can do that, to defend any belief, no matter how nuts it is.
If I did it to defend belief in fairies, you’d think I was a nutter.
So why do you make it here? It’s utterly mystifying.