Authority and Reason

Many people pose faith and reason as opposites. You can have one or the other, but not both. They think like this: faith is non-rational and sets limits on the terrain that reason can explore, stifling it. Reason, on the other hand, promotes a blanket skepticism that is inherently hostile to (unthinking) faith.

I think that the real problem for proponents of reason is not faith, but authority. People who love reason do not want to be told what to think or to have parameters inhibiting the exploratory power of their intellect. It is not faith, but authority that sets these hindrances (some of which are absolutely necessary).

If this is true, then it is fascinating to me that people so readily reject faith as being the source of reason-constriction, given that they do so on the authority of the general academic climate. This authority has then truly narrowed the horizons of what the intellect may explore, because standard academic orthodoxy has dictated that faith is out of bounds.

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