Friday, November 16, 2007

Life or reality at its core is not rational, but “non-rational”

Garrison’s World: The Irrelevance of Rational Atheism and the New Philosophy of the Non-Rational - Part 1 Sun, 07 Oct 2007 19:51:21 -0700 PDT by John C. Garrison
My preference for the word “non-rational,” as opposed to “irrational” is borne from the thought that both the idea of the rational and the idea of the irrational seem to me to assume too much. Who can determine authoritatively what is rational or, by contrast, irrational? We have already noted how relative and subjective these terms are, what is rational to one may be irrational to another. One does not have to go very far to discover that such differences exist even among highly educated and cultured individuals.
For example, you will find such differences in the current debate between those intellectuals who wish to hang on to the classic, old world rational principles that have its roots in the 17th century Enlightenment period and those equally cultured intellectuals of what has been loosely referred to as the “post-modern” movement. Up to at least the middle of the 20th century, the rational or “Enlightenment” point of view had been referred to as “modernity” or the “modern” view of reality, Post-modern intellectuals generally now consider Enlightenment rational philosophy to be a thing of the past and no longer relevant to what reality is. In compelling ways, though having created new philosophical problems of their own, post-modernists have thoroughly deconstructed and demolished Enlightenment rational philosophy with its naive belief in human reason as an absolute universal throughout existence.
Having said this, and coming back to my preference for the word “non-rational” as opposed to “irrational,” though I take side with irrational atheists from the standpoint of my Christian faith, insofar as sharing their belief that reality at its core is not rational, I do not reach the same conclusion as these pessimists who conclude that life is therefore absurd and irrational. I would prefer to say that life or reality is at its core “non-rational.”
The reason for my preference for such language is due to the fact that I envision the possibility that while reality presents massive evidence of being at its core irrational or absurd, at least as practical human reason or commonsense goes, conceivably, reality may not be irrational or absurd (that is, as human reason goes) to an infinite God. I refer to a God who may exist and whose ways or nature in the totality of his being may be beyond the ability of finite human reason to fathom in any adequate, complete or absolute way. To such an inscrutable God, reality could simply be non-rational, and it may be so because God himself is non-rational. It is precisely for this reason that I prefer to say that life and reality is not necessarily absurd or irrational. It is just simply non-rational.
So much for the distinctions between rational and irrational atheists. In Part II of this series, we will be examining the distinctions there are between human reason or rationality, upheld by rational science and rational atheists, and the concept of “non-rationality” or the “non-rational,” which is an old absolute being now newly discovered. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment