1. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 19:373 edits
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html


    From the Pope's Regensburger speech, dated September 12, 2006:

    "In the seventh conversation ( ....... - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to the experts, this is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness which leaves us astounded, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (......) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".

    The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.
    At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?


    Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?


    How do Muslims here at RHP look upon the matter ? How do Christians, Protestants, Roman-Catholics, Jews and Hindus view this issue ?
  2. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 19:43
    I hope this discussion will rise above the level of the proverbial the pot calling the kettle black and referring to instances in Christian, Jewish and Muslim history in the past "proving" this point.

    This thread is not meant to bash any of these religions.
  3. Territories Unknown
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    20 Sep '06 19:44
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html


    From the Pope's Regensburger speech, dated September 12, 2006:

    "In the seventh conversation ( ....... - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have ...[text shortened]... Christians, Protestants, Roman-Catholics, Jews and Hindus view this issue ?
    Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?
    Define 'reason.'
  4. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 19:542 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [b]Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?
    Define 'reason.'[/b]
    Go ahead.

    You can use the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy if you want:

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/

    or Wikipedia.
  5. Territories Unknown
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    20 Sep '06 19:581 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Go ahead.

    You can use the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy if you want:

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/
    Weird: they don't list 'reason' there. Go figure. How would you define it, exactly?
  6. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 20:002 edits
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason

    Reason

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search

    For other senses of this word, see reason (disambiguation).
    In the philosophy of arguments, reason is the ability of the human mind to form and operate on concepts in abstraction, in varied accordance with rationality and logic —terms with which reason shares heritage. Reason has traditionally been claimed as distinctly human, and not to be found elsewhere in the animal world. Discussion and debate about the nature, limits and causes of reason could almost be said to define the main lines of historical philosophical discussion and debate. Discussion about reason especially concerns:

    (a) its relationship to several other related concepts: language, logic, consciousness etc,
    (b) its ability to help people decide what is true, and
    (c) its origin.
    Also see practical reason and speculative reason.

    The concept of reason is connected to the concept of language, as reflected in the meanings of the Greek word "logos", later to be translated by Latin "ratio" and then French "raison", from which the English word derived. As reason, rationality, and logic are all associated with the ability of the human mind to predict effects as based upon presumed causes, the word "reason" also denotes a ground or basis for a particular argument, and hence is used synonymously with the word "cause."

    Contents [hide]
    1 Reason and logic
    2 Reason, truth, and “first principles”
    3 Reason, language and mimesis
    4 Reason, truth, and emotion or passion
    5 Reason and faith, especially in the “Greater West”
    6 References
    7 See also
    8 External links



    [edit]
    Reason and logic
    It is sometimes said that the contrast between reason and logic extends back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. Indeed, although they had no separate Greek word for logic as opposed to language and reason, Aristotle's neologism "syllogism" (syllogismos) identified logic clearly for the first time as a distinct field of study: the most peculiarly reasonable ("logikê" ) part of reasoning, so to speak.

    No philosopher of any note has ever argued that logic is the same as reason. They are generally thought to be distinct, although logic is one important aspect of reason. But the tendency to a preference for "hard logic," or "solid logic," in modern times has incorrectly led to the two terms occasionally being seen as essentially synonymous (see Reasoning) or perhaps more often logic is seen as the defining and pure form of reason.

    However machines and animals can unconsciously perform logical operations, and many animals (including humans) can unconsciously, associate different perceptions as causes and effects and then make decisions or even plans. Therefore, to have any distinct meaning at all, “reason” must be the type of thinking which links language, consciousness and logic, and at this time, only humans are known to combine these things.

    Although this is an old discussion, the neurologist Terrence Deacon, following the tradition of Peirce, has recently given a useful new description in modern terms. Like many philosophers in the English traditions such as Hobbes, Locke and Hume, he starts by distinguishing the type of thinking which is most essential to human rational thinking as a type of associative thinking. Reason by his account therefore requires associating perceptions in a way which may be arbitrary (or nominal, conventional or "formal" ) - not just associating the image or "icon" of smoke and the image of fire, but, for example, the image of smoke and the English word "smoke", or indeed any made-up symbol (not necessarily a spoken word). What is essential is however not the arbitrariness of symbols, but how they are used. See below concerning Reason and Language.

    [edit]
    Reason, truth, and “first principles”
    Already in classical times a conflict between the Platonists and the Aristotelians developed about reason's role in confirming truth. Both Aristotle and Plato were aware of this as a question all philosophy must consider. On the one hand people use logical syllogisms such as deduction and induction in order to come to conclusions they feel are more infallible than our basic sense perceptions. On the other hand, if such conclusions are only built upon sense perceptions, then our most logical conclusions can never be said to be certain because they are built upon fallible perceptions (or fallible interpretations of perceptions). So given the impression that we are sometimes certain, as well as the desire to be certain, the question arises as to the source of our first principles. Is it only experience as claimed in “empiricist” arguments (associated by some as being more Aristotelian, and more recently with British philosophers such as David Hume) or is there some other “faculty” from which we derive our consciousness of at least some “a priori” truths (a position called “idealist” and associated with Platonism)

    In Greek, “first principles” are arkhai and the faculty used to perceive them is sometimes referred to in Aristotle and Plato as “nous” which was close in meaning to “awareness” and therefore “consciousness”. This leaves open the question of whether we become aware by building up and comparing experiences, or some other way.

    Modern proponents of a priori reasoning, at least with regards to language, are Noam Chomsky and Stephen Pinker, to whom Merlin Donald and Terrence Deacon can be very usefully contrasted. One well-known modern variant of empiricism is Objectivism.

    [edit]
    Reason, language and mimesis
    The recent writings of Deacon and Donald fit into an older tradition which makes reason connected to language, and mimesis, but more specifically the ability to create language as part of an internal modelling of reality specific to humankind. Other results are consciousness, and imagination or fantasy.

    Thomas Hobbes describes the creation of “Markes, or Notes of remembrance” (Leviathan Ch.4) as “speech” (allowing by his definition that it is not necessarily a means of communication or speech in the normal sense; he was presumably thinking of "speech" as an English version of "logos" in this description). In the context of a language, these marks or notes are called "Signes" by Hobbes.

    David Hume, following John Locke (and Berkeley), who followed Hobbes, emphasized the importance of associative thinking.

    Concerning mimesis and fantasy being important in defining reason, see for example Aristotle's Poetics, De Anima, On Dreams, and On Memory and Recollection (and for example the Introduction by Michael Davis, printed with the 2002 translation by him and Seth Benardete of the Poetics), Jacob Klein’s A Commentary on the Meno Ch.5, and Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories".

    [edit]
    Reason, truth, and emotion or passion
    In literature, reason is often opposed to emotions or feelings, and desires, drives or passions. Others see reason as the servant or tool of these things -- the means of sorting out our desires and then getting what we want. Some would say however that many of the key philosophers of history (e.g. Plato, Rousseau, Hume, Nietzsche) have combined both views - making rational thinking not only a tool of desires, but also something which is itself desired, not only because of its usefulness in satisfying other desires.

    At the same time, reason sometimes clearly seems to come into conflict with some desires (even while not being in conflict with others) giving us the impression that reason is separate from emotion. Only in humans, choices are sometimes made on the basis of an association of ideas which is an artificially constructed model, rather than an un-inspected association based on raw experience, and this “feels” different to when one is won over by a passion supported by raw “feeling”. The opposite is also unique – we sometimes feel that a passion has won over our decision-making “unjustly”, despite having lost its argument, or perhaps (in the case, for example, of a reflex action) not even having been a subject of argument before the action took place.

    The question of whether reason is in fact driven by emotions is important for philosophers because reason is seen by almost all philosophers as being the way that we come to know the truth, and we see the truth as something which exists outside of our own consciousness. If reason is driven by emotions, then how can we ever know that we are not deceiving ourselves about what is true by denying undesirable information in favor of a more pleasing construct of our world? Nietzsche was particularly moved by this question.

    A potential argument against this is that one's desire for an objective truth is greater than their desire to believe what is convenient regardless of the falsehood of their belief. Further, if one's reason acts as a means of sorting out one's desires, and one could separate their desires into two categories, less intense, short-term desires which could be regarded as "lower" desires, and more powerful, long-term desires which could be regarded as "higher" desires. From there, through reasoning one could determine that having knowledge, regardless of whether or not it produces pleasure itself, is useful in achieving the satisfaction of one's higher desires. At any rate, it is likely that one conception of truth is developed on part at an unconcsious level, as opposed to being completely determined by conscious reasoning.

    [edit]
    Reason and faith, especially in the “Greater West”
    In theology, reason, as distinguished from faith, is the human critical faculty exercised upon religious truth whether by way of discovery or by way of explanation. Some commentators have claimed that Western civilization can be almost defined by its serious testing of the limits of tension between “unaided” reason and faith in "revealed" truths - figuratively ...
  7. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 20:011 edit
    Reason and faith, especially in the “Greater West”

    In theology, reason, as distinguished from faith, is the human critical faculty exercised upon religious truth whether by way of discovery or by way of explanation. Some commentators have claimed that Western civilization can be almost defined by its serious testing of the limits of tension between “unaided” reason and faith in "revealed" truths - figuratively summarised as Jerusalem and Athens. Leo Strauss spoke of a "Greater West" which included all areas under the influence of the tension between Greek rationalism and Abrahamic revelation, including the Muslim lands. He was particularly influenced by the great Muslim philosopher Al-Farabi. In order to consider to what extent Eastern philosophy might have partaken of these important tensions, it is perhaps best to consider whether dharma or tao may be equivalent to Nature (by which we mean physis in Greek).

    The limits within which reason may be used have been laid down differently in different churches and periods of thought: on the whole, modern religion tends to allow to reason a wide field, reserving, however, as the sphere of faith the ultimate (supernatural) truths of theology.

    [edit]
    References
    George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1999). Philosophy In The Flesh. Basic Books.
    [edit]
    See also
    Deism
    Fantasy
    Inquiry
    Logic
    Language
    Mimesis
    Mind
    Nous
    Rationality
    [edit]

    External links
    Reasoning and Debating wiki

    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason"
  8. Territories Unknown
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    20 Sep '06 20:06
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    Reason and faith, especially in the “Greater West”
    In theology, reason, as distinguished from faith, is the human critical faculty exercised upon religious truth whether by way of discovery or by way of explanation. Some commentators have claimed that Western civilization can be almost defined by its serious testing of the limits of tension between “unaided ...[text shortened]... links
    Reasoning and Debating wiki
    Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reason"
    Well, in that case, I'd say that in order for man to be reasonable (relative to God's scale of values), he must align himself accordingly. Otherwise, God's demands on man will appear unreasonable (relative to man's scales of values).
  9. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 20:11
    reason {Ger. Vernunft}

    The intellectual ability to apprehend the truth cognitively, either immediately in intuition, or by means of a process of inference.



    http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/r.htm#reas
  10. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    20 Sep '06 20:12
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Well, in that case, I'd say that in order for man to be reasonable (relative to God's scale of values), he must align himself accordingly. Otherwise, God's demands on man will appear unreasonable (relative to man's scales of values).
    What are God's demands you are talking about ?
  11. Territories Unknown
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    20 Sep '06 20:32
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    What are God's demands you are talking about ?
    In order to save one's life, one must give it up, among others.
  12. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    21 Sep '06 01:133 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    In order to save one's life, one must give it up, among others.
    That is a difficult one, don't you think ? Better start with demands which are more understandable and do not have such a difficulty factor. Unless, of course, you want to give an explanation of this demand (or advice !) in the light of the thread's subject. In that case, don't hesitate ..... shoot !
  13. Territories Unknown
    Joined
    05 Dec '05
    Moves
    20408
    21 Sep '06 02:10
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    That is a difficult one, don't you think ? Better start with demands which are more understandable and do not have such a difficulty factor. Unless, of course, you want to give an explanation of this demand (or advice !) in the light of the thread's subject. In that case, don't hesitate ..... shoot !
    Sorry, I can't understand what you are saying unless you cut and paste the post.
  14. Felicific Forest
    Joined
    15 Dec '02
    Moves
    23672
    21 Sep '06 02:57
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Sorry, I can't understand what you are saying unless you cut and paste the post.
    You're so cute and humurous when you're stuck in your own mud.
  15. Standard memberBosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    Spiel des Lebens
    Joined
    27 Jan '05
    Moves
    83887
    21 Sep '06 13:56
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    [b]Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?[/b]
    How does one seriously go about testing this theory?
Back to Top