Religion Accomplishes What Reason Cannot


Religion Accomplishes What Reason Cannot

Having again emersed myself in the philosophy of morality and ethics, I again endure the fog of semantical moras, the negation of all negations—the immorality of all moralities. My years as an academician have equipped me with a perverse enjoyment of a few battles of ideas that cannot be won. With regard to the philosophy of morality and ethics, I return again and again to find “the winner”, but the unquestioned victor never emerges.

What does emerge for me is the imperative of some practical guidelines that, under normal corcomstances, should not be questioned.

The following is taken from Robert H. Bork’s extraordinary book (p.278), Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline.

For me, Robert Bork has untied the Gordian Knot. In more colloquial terms: he has “cut the crap”. Please see what you think.

The following are Robert Bork’s words.

Today’s Religious conservatives take Christianity and Judaism seriously, but that does not place them outside a very long moral tradition. C. S. Lewis: ‘The number of actions about whose ethical quality a Stoic, an Aristotelian, a Thomist, a Kantian, and a Utilitarian would agree is , after all very large.  And again: ‘A Christian who understands his own religion laughs when unbelievers expect to trouble him by the assertion that Jesus uttered no command which had not been anticipated by the Rabbis—few, indeed, which cannot be paralleled in classical, ancient Egyptian, Ninevite, Babylonian, or Chinese texts. We have long recognized that truth with rejoicing. Our faith is not pinned on a crank.’

Bork goes on to say:

Only religion can accomplish for a modern society what tradition, reason, and empirical observation cannot. Christianity and Judaism provide the major premises of moral reasoning by revelation and by the stories in the Bible. There is not need to attempt the impossible task of reasoning your way to first principles. Those principles are accepted as given by God.

For most people, only revealed religion can supply the premises from which the prescriptions of morality can be deduced. Religion tells us what the end of man should be and that information supplies the premises for moral reasoning and hence a basis for moral conduct. Philosophers cannot agree on the proper end of man and hence cannot supply the necessary premises. Religion is by its nature authoritative and final as to first principles. It must be so or it would be valueless. Those principles are given on a stone tablet, either literally or figuratively, and so long as you believe the religion, there is simply no possibility to arguing with what is on the tablet.

 End of quotes.

In my view, there is no way out but this: Either a socioculture is built upon commonly accepted, religiously based precepts, or it will fall under the weight of its own behavioral chaos—much as America and the West is now.

Happy New Year.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    1/2/11

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2 Responses to “Religion Accomplishes What Reason Cannot”

  1. Howard Hawkins Says:

    Bork also says-
    What Frederick Lewis Allen noted of the 1920s was true for a long time previously and remains true today:religion is declining because those identified with it do not actually believe in it.It seems impossible to say that a person believes in a religion when he rejects what the religion proclaims.It is difficult to say that a religion even exists if it keeps giving up its tenets to appease its members and critics.If belief,in some sense, can be said to be present,it is a weak and watery belief that is no match for parishioners’ personal,secular concerns.

    Bork is correct,I readily admit I see it in the way I live my own life as well as for many of those that I’ve had a working or social relationship with.

    Bork goes on to say-

    As life became easier and diversions more plentiful,men are less willing to accept the authority of their clergy and less willing to worship a demanding God,a God who dictates how one should live and puts a great many bodily and psychological pleasures off limits.

    Like

  2. WARREN PAULSON Says:

    Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man returns will he find faith on earth?” Sounds like a prediction of what the world is like and our times.

    Like

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