Friday, February 13, 2004

Reason alone

It has been claimed that in my discussions with progressives (whether secular or religious), I appeal entirely to the authority of religous doctrine.

For anyone who thinks this, I'd urge you to read the discussions I have with those with whom I disagree; if you do so, you'll find that I never appeal to Scripture or religious dogma to make my point, but to reason alone. It makes absolutely no sense to quote the Bible to someone who doesn't believe it is inspired, and I know that... that's why I don't appeal to it! Same with those who do not believe that the Catholic Church's claims about itself are true.

For example, look at the post from last week on the need for intellectual discussion, and the comments thread I referenced therein: in my discussion of abortion with J. Collins Fisher, I never appeal to Scripture or dogma to make my point... I only use reason.

To charge that I use arguments from religious authority may be easier--it allows me to be lumped in with people who do make such arguments--but it doesn't reflect reality.

The key point is this: it is precisely because I appeal only to reason that dialogue is possible; if my arguments were based on references to the bible and dogma, there would be no way to discuss with those who do not accept either. But since my appeals are to reason, dialogue is possible.

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