Post # 489     FAITH IN REASON

If there is a positive result from the outbreak of the CORONA virus, it may have, at least, taught some people, to break free from the shackles of post-dark ages dogma, and anachronistic explanations, and learn to live (and survive), more effectively, by empirical reality, viz., from knowledge derived from human experience.

Followers of this blogspace, may already know,  that we are believers in the philosophy of the English, 19th Century thinker, John Locke, regarding knowledge and wisdom. Locke, properly credited, with the intellectual establishment of the Period of Enlightenment’s, Empirical School of philosophy, famously and usefully, proclaimed, that man is born with a “tabula rasa,” a clean slate; and that, all his knowledge is acquired, from his personal experience. This, of course, was in radical contradiction to the Rationalist School, which entertained the atavistic belief, that a newborn, was born with certain divinely inspired, knowledge.

“Faith,” (ask any of the “faithful”) is the belief in the truth of phenomena, that does not require, or lend itself, to being provable by evidence or rational means. “Reason,” is the facility of the mind, through which man comes to rational conclusions.  Locke’s theory empiricism, (and ours) does not extend beyond the acquisition of knowledge by the existence of things, detectable to the senses and knowable by experience.

The conduct of science, necessarily, is empirical, in its quest for what is true, which may often be, at variance, what is believed to be true. With respect to the important matter of societal morality, we are of the opinion, that there, indeed, exists a morality to science, one guided by an objective and deliberative study of the need and the desires of the individual human being; as opposed to possible non-rational conceptions of “good” and “evil.” Science and experience, we hold, can lead man, to an appropriate, societal consensus of justice and rectitude (“morality”). We maintain that ultimate justice and fair play, demands objective (but, empathic) determinations. It is science and empirical experience, alone, that can tell guide man to the best and most reliably just, decisions; not unquestioned, religious dogma or folk aphorism. The latter has eternally and indisputably, merely led to polarity, hatred and conflict, and not truth.

The present administration’s constant, populist denigration of scientific and liberal education (knowledge) may prove highly entertaining to some of his flat earth, reductionist base, but, in (empirical) reality, is detrimental to the maintenance of the strength of our Nation; and, as recent events, show, is detrimental to the safety and health of its citizens. The current, resulting tsunami, of human sickness and death, offers testament to the fatal absence of respect for the science of medicine and rational morality, and to the administration’s reductionist ignorance.

The evolutionary process, as generally understood, saw the continued existence and development of species, viz., plants and animals, who had fitter potential to survive than others. Survival may have depended upon a skin color, suitable for camouflage against predators, a limb, or appendage that better enabled a fish to swim faster, or a plant to propagate more profusely, night vision which assisted meat eating predators in their nocturnal hunt for sustenance. Gophers and lizards, as well, are not celebrated for their “faith,” but, objectively, for their resilience in arid territorial environment.

It was the ability to reason, plus favorable physical phenomena, like the opposable thumb, the ability to stand and walk upright, and developed eyesight, that allowed Early Man to survive and develop; not the totem, chant or the exotic medicine man. Existential food and shelter, were located and defensive weapons and strategies, developed, by the use of his advanced brain, generously gifted to him by evolution, not by good fortune, acquired by incantations and cave art.

It was the failure of knowledge and the reductive (irrational) assumptions of our, ego-oriented and ignorant President, that unnecessarily, exacerbated the attack of COVID-19. Stated another way, it was Trump’s inability to employ reason, or, alternatively, confer with competent advisors, who might have been able to convey to him, the scientific facts, objective wisdom and rational scientific morality, that doubtlessly would have prevented the virtual, transmogrification, of the viral attack to the present horrific and unnecessary status, of a viral holocaust.

-p.

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plinyblogcom

Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Literature Student and enthusiast.

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