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Friday, September 29, 2006

Reason 


Quickie thoughts on this God and reason thingie.

From the Wikipedia biography of Thomas Aquinas:


Aquinas defined the four cardinal virtues as prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. The cardinal virtues are natural and revealed in nature, and they are binding on everyone. There are, however, three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. These are supernatural and are distinct from other virtues in their object, namely, God:

"Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason. Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues."



From the Augustine Club at Columbia University:


The promise of Christ is that if we die to ourselves, we will rise to live eternally with him: unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (Jn 12:24). The sign of his veracity is his rising from the grave to a new and radically better life. The entire Christian faith hinges on this historical fact, because if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:14). It is the assurance Jesus has overcome the world (Jn 16:33), that love is as strong as death (Song 8:6), that we will find the most profound peace and happiness in sacrifice, that we need not be afraid (cf. Mt 28:5,10).

It is an eternal mystery, an unfathomable paradox, an impenetrable obscurity to human reason, but one that bears out every day: man cannot truly live unless he lives for others.



And this topical item from First Things:


Death threats issued to Pope Benedict XVI, Muslims burning the Pope in effigy, promises to conquer Rome and slit the throats of Christians, at least seven churches in the region of Palestine torched, a nun murdered in front of a children’s hospital in Somalia, claims of Benedict participating in a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy against Islam. Do we fail to see the irony in all of this? Violent protests from a religion of peace in response to the suggestion that Islam may be fundamentally misguided in its conception of God. This was Benedict’s underlying argument in reference to Islam last week....

Yet the many commentaries, news reports, and editorials seem to miss Benedict’s central message: Human reason can apprehend the truth—though not the entire truth—of God and man. Reason isn’t at odds with faith. And the modern university performs a great disservice to the well-being of all mankind in relegating the truths of religion to personal preferences and radically subjective, private beliefs. The resulting impoverished Christianity and shriveled secular reason are unable to sustain a culture or respond to challenges.



And, back in November 2001, (former) Iranian President Mohammad Khatami addressed Seton Hall University and said the following in the course of his lecture:


Modern society takes human reason as the organizing principle for all institutions, laws, social and civil relationships, and human rights. Even various forms of collectivism, meant to counterbalance excessive individualism, build upon a plurality of human reason. It is true that in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, as well as in the Quran, the human individual is addressed. By listening to the divine call, human reason is elevated to human personhood. Religions teach us that the central prominence of human beings in the universe is not caused by their individuality or their collectivity, but stems from our being addressed by the Divine. The divine call elevates the human spirit and thereby makes possible the establishment of justice in the world. Should we in the modern world realize this truth, and should we prepare ourselves to recognize the divine call, we shall be able to transcend from individuality to personhood.

All human beings have been addressed by God, and are all His servants. As such,
undeserved privileges shall be abolished, and all humans shall be deemed equal in determining their own destiny.



From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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