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The most influential philosopher alive [Infanticide Advocate Peter Singer]
Townhall.com ^ | Dec. 2, 2004 | Marvin Olasky

Posted on 12/02/2004 6:24:24 AM PST by Unam Sanctam

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Republicans are winning elections, but the long-term problem of the left dominance within academia remains. Consider, for example, the influence of Princeton professor Peter Singer.

 Many readers may be saying, "Peter who?" -- but The New York Times, explaining how his views trickle down through media and academia to the general populace, noted that "No other living philosopher has had this kind of influence." The New England Journal of Medicine said he has had "more success in effecting changes in acceptable behavior" than any philosopher since Bertrand Russell. The New Yorker called him the "most influential" philosopher alive.

 Don't expect Singer to be quoted heavily on the issue that roiled the Nov. 2 election, same-sex marriage. That for him is intellectual child's play, already logically decided, and it's time to move on to polyamory. While politicians debate the definition of marriage between two people, Singer argues that any kind of "fully consensual" sexual behavior involving two people or 200 is ethically fine.

 For example, when I asked him recently about necrophilia (what if two people make an agreement that whoever lives longest can have sexual relations with the corpse of the person who dies first?), he said, "There's no moral problem with that." Concerning bestiality -- should people have sex with animals, seen as willing participants? -- he responded, "I would ask, 'What's holding you back from a more fulfilling relationship?' (but) it's not wrong inherently in a moral sense."

 If the 21st century becomes a Singer century, we will also see legal infanticide of born children who are ill or who have ill older siblings in need of their body parts.

 Question: What about parents conceiving and giving birth to a child specifically to kill him, take his organs and transplant them into their ill older children? Singer: "It's difficult to warm to parents who can take such a detached view, (but) they're not doing something really wrong in itself." Is anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No."

 When we had lunch after our initial interview and I read back his answers to him, he said he would be "concerned about a society where the role of some women was to breed children for that purpose," but he stood by his statements. He also reaffirmed that it would be ethically OK to kill 1-year-olds with physical or mental disabilities, although ideally the question of infanticide would be "raised as soon as possible after birth."

 These proposals are biblically and historically monstrous, but Singer is a soft-spoken Princeton professor. Whittaker Chambers a half-century ago wrote that, "Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness," but part of Singer's effectiveness in teaching "Practical Ethics" to Princeton undergraduates is that he does not come across personally as beastly.

 C.S. Lewis 61 years ago wrote "That Hideous Strength," a novel with villainous materialists employed by N.I.C.E. (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments). Their offices were to be in a building that "would make quite a noticeable addition to the skyline of New York." But Singer sits in an unostentatious office at Princeton's Center for Human Values, which is housed in a small and homey grayish-green building with a front yard that slopes down the street. The center even has a pastoral-sounding address: 5 Ivy Lane.

 C.S. Lewis's N.I.C.E. leaders are totalitarian. They use media control and a police force to push opponents into submission. Singer says he's not totalitarian because he accepts debate and says that "people can draw the line anywhere." But, within Singerism, should they? He scorns attempts to set up standards of good and evil that go beyond utilitarianism, and hopes to convince people willingly to do it his way.

 The challenge for conservatives during the next several decades will be not only to win elections, but to win the intellectual battles.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: olasky; petersinger; princeton; tenuredradicals
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1 posted on 12/02/2004 6:24:24 AM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: Unam Sanctam

All I can say to some of Singer's statements...yuk


2 posted on 12/02/2004 6:26:39 AM PST by mel
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To: Unam Sanctam
For too long public money has condoned and encouraged the liberal/leftists agenda.

It time that public money is used to promote bablance.

3 posted on 12/02/2004 6:28:28 AM PST by abc1
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To: Unam Sanctam

A required course at my daughter's college (Global Justice) features this man. Last year, he actually spoke on campus. This year, Monday of this week in fact, they were forced to watch a video of an interview with him. My daughter's disgust was beyond words. This requirement, more than any other factor, has shown her the bias in today's higher eduction.


4 posted on 12/02/2004 6:29:44 AM PST by twigs
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To: Unam Sanctam

I am sure we can find people who need his kidneys, heart, lungs, and eyes. Why doesn't he practice what he preaches and farm his organs out? Interesting how the living are always the ones who want to kill someone else and take something.


5 posted on 12/02/2004 6:31:17 AM PST by New Perspective (Proud father of an 11 month old son with Down Syndrome)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Relativism and Sartre wrapped in contemporary clothing.


6 posted on 12/02/2004 6:33:47 AM PST by DoctorMichael (The Fourth Estate is a Fifth Column!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Intellectuals don't exist unless you want them to and, whenever I hear the word "professor" I always reach for my "Buy 'em for what they're worth, sell 'em for what they think they're worth" Table.


7 posted on 12/02/2004 6:34:54 AM PST by NaughtiusMaximus (Their women give good lamentation, maybe we can conquer them again sometime.)
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To: Lindykim; DirtyHarryY2K; Siamese Princess; Ed Current; Grampa Dave; Luircin; gonow; John O; ...

Moral Absolutes Ping.

Singer is definitely an evil person. It would be good to have an indepth article about his beliefs, his ideas of right and wrong, for better understanding of him and those he influences. Singer is obviously an avowed atheist.

Parents - DON'T send your kids to Princeton!

Let me know if anyone want on/off this pinglist.


“The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.” C. S. Lewis


8 posted on 12/02/2004 6:42:45 AM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: Unam Sanctam
How can Pete ever know right from wrong?
He obviously does not believe that there is wrong.
Evil cannot recognize evil.
9 posted on 12/02/2004 6:49:37 AM PST by Phrostie
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To: Unam Sanctam
Other than a degree of squeamishness about mass bloodshed, better clothing, and good manners, there is nothing to distinguish Professor Singer from a Stalinist secret police commander. Their presuppositions about human life and its sanctity are the same. Yet this modern day Mengele is regarded as the most influential philosopher in America!

Conservatives who sneer at ivory tower elitists forget that said ivory tower is the control tower for our society. I would argue that the limited degree of success that conservative and pro-market ideas have experienced in public policy have been achieved through neo-conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Claremont Institute, and even libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute. Despite these successes, conservatives have not carried the struggle into the academic arena. Except for a few, relatively unknown colleges like Hillsdale in Michigan or Grove City in Pennsylvania, there is no serious challenge to the liberal and secular humanist death grip over the prestigious private and state run universities. The lure of these schools attracts many of the "best and brightest" from traditionally Christian and culturally and politically conservative families just as the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" popular culture destroys some of the less intelligent or upright from such families.

Restoration of the American republic is dependent in the long run upon the development of an elite that can take on the current ruling class. Talk radio, the Internet, alternative schooling (home school and private), and evangelical congregations have done some good. But the agenda of restoration must be continued in other arenas.

10 posted on 12/02/2004 6:54:38 AM PST by Wallace T.
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To: Unam Sanctam
Existentialism with a new wrapper and sans the poetry of Camus or Sartre. How boring...
How insidious.
11 posted on 12/02/2004 7:36:40 AM PST by Red in Blue Maine
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: ZellsBells

I've read more indepth stuff about P. Singer, detailing his views about bestiality and other depravities. The man is really, really repellent.

Really, really repellent.

Anyone defending, supporting or promoting evil is just as responsible as the schmo who actually does the deed. In Singer's case, maybe even more so, since he attempts to influence many people. He has a load of very heavy debt to pay. I won't say anything more as someone may take it amiss.


13 posted on 12/02/2004 3:12:17 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Unam Sanctam
Question: What about parents conceiving and giving birth to a child specifically to kill him, take his organs and transplant them into their ill older children? Singer: "It's difficult to warm to parents who can take such a detached view, (but) they're not doing something really wrong in itself." Is anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No."

This line of thought was used by supporters of Eugenics, as well as NAZI "medical researchers" like Dr Mengele. It's nice to know that Princeton University has this professor of "ethics."

Mark

15 posted on 12/02/2004 3:21:11 PM PST by MarkL (Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. But it rocks absolutely, too!)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Singer is giving a talk at the philosophy dept at Rutgers (where I'm a grad student) right at this very moment. I chose not to attend because I'm too disgusted with the man. To paraphrase GEM Anscombe, if someone needs a rational argument to convince them that infanticide is wrong, I do not wish to debate with him, for he shows a corrupt mind.


16 posted on 12/02/2004 3:57:37 PM PST by sassbox
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To: little jeremiah
Singer is definitely an evil person. It would be good to have an indepth article about his beliefs, his ideas of right and wrong, for better understanding of him and those he influences. Singer is obviously an avowed atheist.

A frightening trio - Singer, Soros, and Dr. Ronald Cranford. All have brought the culture of death to our country with much success over the last decade.

17 posted on 12/02/2004 4:45:40 PM PST by MarMema
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To: mel
"...yuk"
Well, before yucking, one might wish to consider a degree to which the country would have prospered and benefited had the clintons been "Singered" in childhood or even earlier. And then the impulse to yuck would rapidly dissipate.
18 posted on 12/02/2004 5:11:29 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Wallace T.

Your comments are right on. The only reason leftists and amoralists have achieved the influence and prominence they have is because conservatives - especially those with religous values - have been wimps. We've let them encroach. And if we don't stop their onslaught, the future is very dark indeed.

The instruction of "turn the other cheek" is for personal insult, not when barbarians are tearing down the walls.


19 posted on 12/02/2004 6:09:43 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: MarMema

Pardon my ignorance, but who is Ronald Cranford?


20 posted on 12/02/2004 6:10:42 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: Red in Blue Maine

For the record, Singer's utilitarian philosophy is quite different philosophically from existentialism. They may arrive at similar conclusions on occasion, but. even if so, they are using a completely different method from very divergent perspectives.


21 posted on 12/02/2004 6:52:55 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: Unam Sanctam

Singer is of the belief that parents should be able to do away with their childern up to a certain age (6 months I believe) should they feel burdened by them.

I'm not kidding. The precise amount of time he prescribes I don't have at my finger ttips, but I suspect I'm on the low side in my encapsulation.

Now, in spite of all this post modernism ad nauseum that we hear from Singer, the fact is, most would call him a looney for the idea I just encapsulated above. Hell, the biggest liberals I know wouldn't accept this . So why would he espouse such views? Sure, it's reasonable to assume that he's just another lefty, but his theories have long struck me as the product of a penchant for irony; in other words, I often wonder if Singer isn't simply taking current values to their ultimate end. Buckley once wrote, in a short treatise against abortion, that he had yet to find any evidence (paraphrasing) that there is anything tangibly different between an infant in the womb 3 weeks prior to birth and one who was 3 weeks out of birth. Singer's theory that parents should bbe able to terminate their children within a "reasonable" amount of time after birth suggests the same thing as the Buckley theory.
In short, so callous is Singer's theory that I can't help but think he's simply being ironic.
If Singer were a Conservative, he could very well be making our point with these hair brained theories of his:" You think late term abortion is okay? hell, why not kill em after birth?" That's where post modern theory is heading afterall. Are you sure you want to board this train?
Years from now, I won't be surprised if Singer either writes memoirs for posthumous publication afterr hhis death, or comes clean to the effect that he lets the world know he's been playing their liberal sensibilities to the hilt.


22 posted on 12/02/2004 7:13:40 PM PST by Cosmo (Got wood?)
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To: little jeremiah
I was going to post, but on second thought, I'll freepmail you the link. Or, you can google his name and "euthanasia".

He once testified that a police officer should be taken off mechanical ventilation, and the police officer not only regained consciousness but almost all of his abilities as well.

23 posted on 12/02/2004 7:32:04 PM PST by MarMema
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To: little jeremiah
rc

"Dr. Ronald Cranford, the euthanasia advocate who hopes to help Pete Busalacchi take care of Christine when she is brought to Minnesota, had a similar case in 1979. Sgt. David Mack was shot in the line of duty as a policeman, and Cranford diagnosed him as "definitely...in a persistent vegetative state...never [to] regain cognitive, sapient functioning...never [to] be aware of his condition." Twenty months after the shooting Mack woke up, and eventually regained nearly all his mental ability."

RC

"A Minnesota neurologist, Ronald Cranford, an expert witness in the Nancy Cruzan case, testified that he would consider even spoon-feeding Nancy Cruzan to be "medical treatment."

rc

"Michael appointed Dr. Ronald Cranford, who publicly labels himself “Dr. Humane Death,” as a consultant in the case."

He pretty much founded the field of bioethics. Find a court case where a family is trying to have a helpless member killed by dehydration, and you will most likely find this man testifying on behalf of death.

24 posted on 12/02/2004 7:39:20 PM PST by MarMema
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To: MarMema

Ah - a death dealer.


25 posted on 12/02/2004 7:49:04 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: Cosmo

I have to admit, Singer (by which I mean reading ABOUT Singer) has often impressed me the same way. You call it
"ironic", and that's a good word for it. I wish it were so.
I wish they were merely playing a role, serving some abstract cultural purpose to see what would happen if every idea were taken as far as it could go.
But I've noticed that MOST academics, especially those whogenerally fit in the big bag of "The Humanities" are in fact ALL THEORY, and the University and its at-all-costs
promotion of "The Life of the Mind" does nothing but encourage this way of thinking. I talk to relatives who are in academe, and I'm appalled at the degree to which every idea for them has the same relativistic value. All they basically do is read, and , for them, I would invert the old
cliche, and say "The unlived life is not worth examining".


26 posted on 12/02/2004 9:45:05 PM PST by willyboyishere
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To: Unam Sanctam

Peter Singer is probably one of, if not the, most darkened souls in America...


27 posted on 12/02/2004 9:47:59 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (You will NEVER convince me that Muhammadanism isn't a death cult that must end. Save your time...)
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To: Unam Sanctam
My question to this man

If an individual is so morally bankrupt, so evil, that his very existence is a threat to the society in which he lives, is not the right, say even the duty, of that society to destroy such a man for the betterment of the whole?
28 posted on 12/03/2004 6:12:39 AM PST by KosmicKitty (Well... There you go again!)
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To: bdeaner

Oh joy...now I am compelled to actually read some of this vermin's work.

Know thy enemy.

Yet wherever Seeger's syllogistic path takes us, the conclusions will remain the same: Without God, without the supreme lawgiver, there are no moral absolutes nor justification for ethical conventions(Apologies to Dr. Schaffer for such a simplistic distillation).


29 posted on 12/03/2004 6:13:44 AM PST by Red in Blue Maine
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To: little jeremiah
You are exactly right. There has been some progress made on the media front and to a degree in the public policy arena. The mainline Protestant churches are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and the mainstream news media are heading in the same direction. The difference is that the mainline Protestants started declining in power about 1955, and the mainstream media about 1995. Liberal and radical professors at many state universities, especially those on the lower end of the prestige scale, are regarded as wackos by many, if not most, of the students, at least those from working and middle class backgrounds.

However, where are our Harvards, Yales, MITs, Stanfords, Dukes, etc.? Even in colleges run by the Catholic Church and evangelical denominations, liberals are very well represented and often even dominate. (Think Georgetown, the oldest and arguably the most prestigious Catholic university in America, or Baylor, the flagship of Southern Baptist universities. Both are in the hands of liberals.)

Money is the mother's milk of academia. In the prestigious private universities, much of the funding comes from the upper classes and philanthropies. Despite leftist ranting about corporate America being reactionary, the fact is that most great fortunes in this country are in the hands of people that are liberal or at most moderate. It is far easier to think of billionaire liberals, even outside the sphere of entertainment, like Bill Gates, George Soros, or Warren Buffett, than of conservative ones. Forty years ago, there were numerous very wealthy conservatives, such as H.L. Hunt, Henry Salvatori, and J. Howard Pew, who helped fund conservative political organizations, universities, and churches. Furthermore, the large tax-free foundations are predominantly liberal and have been so for decades, such as the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Fund. Several foundations whose founders were conservative, such as those established by J. Howard Pew and Ray Kroc, have recently gone over to the "dark side" after the founders died and liberal relatives or administrators took over.

Until we can develop the funding sources, the "good guys" cannot create or develop institutions with the influence and prestige of the Ivy League and other elite institutions.

Go into business, young conservative man, go into business.

30 posted on 12/03/2004 10:10:52 AM PST by Wallace T.
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To: Wallace T.

Excellent points. Unfortunately I am no longer young and have a *rotten* head for business.

I hope there are many younguns coming up that are unlike me in that regard!


31 posted on 12/03/2004 3:05:48 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own "right and wrong"?)
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To: Red in Blue Maine
Know thy enemy. Yet wherever Seeger's syllogistic path takes us, the conclusions will remain the same: Without God, without the supreme lawgiver, there are no moral absolutes nor justification for ethical conventions(Apologies to Dr. Schaffer for such a simplistic distillation)..

Absolutely, I agree. Know thy enemy, indeed. The best way to criticize these types of people (in my opinion) is to use our God-given capacity to reason and to engage them in civil debate. And we can't do that until we know their argument well enough to refute it on its own terms.

It is a common fallacy that matters of the spirit and sin cannot be understood from a rational perspective, but on the contrary, the truth is available to reason, if we only utilize it. And, if it is indeed a gift from God which enables us to discern the right from the wrong, He has surely provided us with a means to refute the likes of Peter Seeger, if we only have the patience to bear out the task of careful, critical thought.
32 posted on 12/06/2004 10:43:57 AM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner

If the truth is available through reason, where does faith fit in? This has been a classic bone of contention, with Aristotle leading the pack your way. But can you know anything solely through faith?


33 posted on 12/06/2004 10:49:13 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: Unam Sanctam
The most influential philosophers alive [Infanticide Advocate Gerry Springer, Gerry Maury, Oprah, and all 'Rap' music?]

/BBC

34 posted on 12/06/2004 10:55:44 AM PST by maestro
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To: BikerNYC

I think you need faith to believe that reason will lead you to the truth. Faith is the foundation of reason -- it's the condition of possibility for reason.


35 posted on 12/07/2004 9:54:29 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: BikerNYC

I should add that faith without reason leads to crude fanatacism. Suicide bombers being one good example.


36 posted on 12/07/2004 9:56:27 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner
No, I mean there have been times when people believed that some things, for example, the trinity, could only be known through faith (people were put on trial and worse for stating otherwise). In other words, reason simply does not help you know this, how can you put it, characteristic of God.
37 posted on 12/08/2004 6:50:52 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
One could argue that, if it cannot be arrived at through reason, it might not be worth bothering over.

People who murdered others because they differed on matters of Christology were highly unreasonable people. I can't imagine God looked kindly upon them.
38 posted on 12/08/2004 6:12:18 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: Unam Sanctam

Wasn't he with the original Weavers...I loved it when they sang, "If I Had a Hammer."


39 posted on 12/08/2004 6:13:26 PM PST by durasell (Friends are so alarming, My lover's never charming...)
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To: bdeaner
One could argue that, if it cannot be arrived at through reason, it might not be worth bothering over.

What about the teaching of Jesus: "You have heard it said ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ but I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…"

Now, if this were derived through reason, does that mean that Jesus, too, was morally bound by a rational argument and that he derived this rule through reason? Or is he asking us to believe the truth of this rule through faith?
40 posted on 12/08/2004 7:19:36 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" is a principle that can be derived through reason.

Did Christ need to use reason to derive it? I don't know. If you believe that Christ and God are one, then, why would He need reason? He is already the answer.

My point is that God is the destination, and reason is the pathway to get there. Faith is the condition of possibility for reason, because without it, you can't even begin the journey, because there would be no purpose for it.

That's just how I see it. I see faith and reason as dialectically related. They need each other.

Christ didn't need reason, because he was already the answer to the question. He didn't need faith, because he already knew the Truth.

Faith is for those who are mortal. Faith is for us humans in our finitude. Reason is God's humble gift to us, to find the way to his Truth. Faith is the belief that there is Truth, but it doesn't provide the way to the Truth; it provides the motive for seeking it.
41 posted on 12/08/2004 8:00:36 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner

I don't see how anyone can come to the conclusion through reason that the Trinity is a true description of God. It is self-contradcitory and without reason. The truth of it is perceived entirely through faith.


42 posted on 12/08/2004 8:07:11 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: Unam Sanctam
Woe to those who call evil good and call good evil; who make darkness into light and light into darkness; they make the bitter sweet and the sweet bitter. Isaiah 5:20.

People reject G-D as the only source of morality will ultimately have no morals at all.

43 posted on 12/08/2004 8:16:47 PM PST by Alouette ("Who is for the LORD, come with me!" -- Mattisyahu ben Yohanon, father of Judah Maccabee)
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To: BikerNYC
A statement that appears to be contradictory is usually either an error, due to a trick of language (and thus not a problem in the first place), or resolves itself at a higher level of understanding. The concept of the trinity could be any of the above. If you have read Aquinas and agree with him, you might agree that the concept of the trinity is not contradictory when understood properly through careful reasoning. I'm inclined, through reason, to have a Natural Theological perspective. I realize there are other perspectives. Sounds to me like you are coming from a perspective more similar to Luther and Calvin than Aquinas.
44 posted on 12/09/2004 7:00:37 AM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner
I recently read a book called "Aristotle's Children" that talked about the influence Aristotle had in early and later Church theology. Aristotle thought that everything could be known through reason and that a life of reason is a good life without reference to any religious beliefs. This was controversial to early Churchmen, and in the second and third centuries A.D., Christian scholars suppressed Aristotle's teachings, believing that his emphasis on reason and the physical world challenged their doctrines of faith.

Through a slow revolution in the Church, however, the views of folks like Aquinas, a follower of Aristotle, became ascendant. The criticism remains, however, that reason is not the only path to knowledge and that faith can lead followers to knowledge, too. As I believe one medieval critic of Aristotle said, "Reason argues, faith believes."
45 posted on 12/09/2004 7:58:14 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
I understand there is criticism of Aristotle's influence in the Church. I don't think it is a valid criticism, but I am certainly open to a reasoned argument to the contrary.

I don't think faith is enough. It is too easy to have faith in foolish things. Faith without reason is a recipe for suicide bombers and witch burnings.
46 posted on 12/09/2004 8:10:30 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: BikerNYC
BikerNYC, I was just struck by a thought that I wanted to share with you.

I am saying that I have faith in reason. That's what I mean when I say that faith is the condition of possibility for reason.

How can you critique my faith in reason based on an appeal to faith? It is not in fact a refutation of my faith in reaason, but validates it.

If you believe faith is the ultimate arbiter of truth, then how can you criticize my faith in reason? Isn't faith, according to you, the only legitimate path to the truth?

The only way you could refute my faith in reason is through reason. But it would not make sense to critique my faith in reason through the use of reason, because it would, by default, validate my faith in reason. It would mean you have an implicit faith in reason, or else why would you use it as the means for criticism?
47 posted on 12/10/2004 8:54:07 AM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner
I'm not criticising your faith in reason. I think we may be using "reason" differently. When I say "reason," I mean an appeal to our senses, physical evidence, and logical arguments based upon that evidence.

Aristotle certainly believed that this kind of reason was sufficient to know everything that is knowable and employing this kind of reason would lead to a happy and fulfilling life.

Critics of Aristotle within the Church, however, believed that this was far too limiting and that there are some fundamental spiritual truths than could only be gleaned and known through faith; that an appeal to the senses or to physical evidence was just not enough.

For example, that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God appears to be a proposition that is outside the sphere of our senses. I don't know what kind of evidence someone could produce that would establish that the proposition is true. Yet, many people know it to be true through faith.
48 posted on 12/10/2004 9:08:00 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: BikerNYC
Let's assume for a moment that we are using the term "reason" in the same way. (I think so).

I don't think reason, in the sense you have defined it, can stand on its own, as I stated in the beginning. The use of empirical reasoning -- logic and observation -- cannot verify itself. It would be like trying to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.

However, I have faith that God gave humans the gift of reason for a purpose and that that purpose is to understand the Truth. I don't think He would have given us the ability to reason if this were not so. Like many things (i.e., procreation, aggression), it can be used in accordance with His will or not. How we use reason is up to us. But I think if we use it properly, for the higher Good, then it will lead us to where it needs to lead us -- the Truth it was intended to have as its end.

On the other hand, I think faith alone -- that is, faith without reason -- is a dangerous prospect. One could see the rejection of reason as tantamount to rejecting God's gift, and that rejection could be construed as a kind of hubris. I think God intended us to work for our insights; maybe sometimes they are handed to us, but I don't think that happens very often.

I think God does work miracles, but I think those miracles very often happen through the vehicle of reason, e.g., science and technology.
49 posted on 12/12/2004 5:41:03 PM PST by bdeaner
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To: bdeaner
How can logic and reason help establish that God is made up of three parts: the father, the son and the holy spirit?

If logic and reason can't stand on its own, if it cannot verify itself, does that mean that we undertake its mission based upon faith that it will work out in the end? Aren't you proving my point that there are some things that we know without the use of logic and reason? Namely, the utility of usuing logic and reason?
50 posted on 12/13/2004 7:27:35 AM PST by BikerNYC
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