Tired of the Age of Reason

Historians define the years when the Western World started to take seriously critical observations the Enlightenment or Age of Reason. From this time came advances in science and more democratic political systems, such as the United State of America. Despite those positives, it also brought the social upheaval of the French and Industrial Revolutions. The mixed impact continues up to present times including the exaggerated idea that only what can be observed by the senses can be true. For a society that elevates reason above the emotions of belief, it doesn’t take much to get an irrational reaction. Push back against the “received wisdom” and see the sparks fly. If there is any proposals that cannot be duplicated or more likely attested to by special authorities, those who believe are considered imbeciles or even mental cases. No one is more derided than a person of religious faith, although certain groups are hated more than others.

Having to accept the new orthodoxy of science and what is defended as facts can becoming suffocating. There needs to be a healthy amount of critical thinking, but the modern version has transformed into hubris and rigidity. Curiosity is now skepticism and neutral observation turned into arrogant triumphalism over supposed ignorance and superstition. Now that the iconoclastic promises of the Enlightenment have more or less been delivered, all that remains is an intellectual uniformity.

Modern thought is an insufferable bore. Skeptics cannot see beyond their own noses, always coming up with unimaginative explanations for things they don’t understand. If rational reason doesn’t work to their advantage then ad hominem “crazy” or “delusional”is used as a mock those who don’t give in to persuasion. Atheists are the quickest to use these tactics by calling any religious person a mental case. Despite popular opinion, religious people in the West are currently much more open minded than others. They have to be in order to survive.

As I have already said a few times, my interest in the paranormal started in grade school. There were books on ghosts, Bigfoot, and UFOs that I checked out to read. My young imagination was fascinated by the profound mysteries to ponder. To this day these subjects are of interest to me. Not everything unexplained is believable. For me the Loch Ness Monster is among what I consider completely debunked. Still, those who don’t believe anything more than what can be “programmed, categorized or easily referenced,” as Mulder from The X-Files said, will say or do whatever it takes to discredit. Leaving the possibilities of their existance open is not acceptable.

Tactics used to make claims of the unusual go away are exponentially part of an agenda to minimize, if not wipe out, religion. Ironically, the religious who are themselves under attack will use the same arguments as atheists and skeptics against those they disagree with. In this way there is no unified front against the onslaught of “rationalist” evangelists. Of course it is not a secret that the ultimate goal is not for greater human freedom from tyrants, but a new set of overlords.

Science, the byproduct of reason, has improved life for several generations. Even those who are accused of irrationality use technology. The idea of testing a theory with observation is not itself anti-religious, no matter what the critics might say. However, the philosophy that has built on the foundation of the Enlightenment forces an acceptance of EVERYTHING that is termed scientifically based. To question the “settled” arguments is equal to blasphemy. Anyone who disagrees is worthy to be mocked and shunned. Those who hold onto the concept of reason will use unreasonable means to shut up those who have other ideas. There is nothing more dangerous to the power of science and freedom than “settled science.” Politics replaces proof and evidence.

I want to go back where it all started; curiosity of the human mind. All this talk of the war between religion and science is exhausting. I want the freedom to believe openly regardless of how much “proof” or “rationality” is behind those beliefs without getting told to keep them behind closed doors. Science was supposed to be about discovery, and rationality self-reflection. Instead what remains is a reverse inquisition in the name of a godless humanism that contains no humanity.

10 thoughts on “Tired of the Age of Reason

  1. It gets back to our schema.

    I love data and rational thought. And therefore I love the fact that certain dreams I have had that foretold the future have an “explanation” in a personal God who knows what the future holds for us.

    Someone who has a schema that rejects the possibility of God will discount any “data” that seems to support God. Thus they are able to maintain their scepticism by eliminating data.

  2. We can believe whatever we want. It’s when the actions taken as a result of those beliefs start to infringe upon what are the accepted rights of others, that’s where we have a problem. You know, it’s the old “you can swing your arm all you want until it connects with my nose” thing.

    What specific beliefs are you being given grief over?

  3. Mark, that we can believe whatever we want is besides the point. Asking what beliefs I or any Mormon and Christian is getting grief over would take a very long list. My response to you is difficult since this isn’t about what as the main focus. Its an existential commentary with some social consequences. My philosophical or schema position as Meg stated above is skeptical of science or reason as a final measuring stick of truth and reality; an idea that is laughed at and scorned. That is why I mentioned both the paranormal and religious beliefs as examples of how modernity seeks to squash opposing versions of what is acceptable to believe. It is not a simple black and white issue about rights.

  4. It just seemed to me that discussing this in the abstract without getting into details and/or specific examples doesn’t make for much of a discussion, but as Broadway’s BofM likes to say, I guess that’s kind of what you were going for (staying in the abstract, that is).

  5. Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God. (C.S. Lewis)

  6. You say that you are tired of reason, but what you are really claiming is that science has become irrational, being prejudiced by a progressive agenda.

    I too am tired of reason, but because reason is highly faulty. The foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of men. The church is unreasonable, and that is an attribute. Science is reasonable, and that is a fault.

  7. I’m not sure we can believe whatever we want. I can’t force myself to believe the sky is pink when it’s a blue sky outside. In some sense our beliefs aren’t volitional.

    I also don’t think science or rationality has converted curiosity into skepticism. Rather I think both moves are necessary. Some people have made what is known into a kind of dogma that rejects any hint of what they don’t know. I’m really not sure we should tie that kind of move to rationality or science. Typically that position, often manifesting as a poorly reasoned scientism, is just a kind of narrow dogmatism.

    All that said, I’m certainly sympathetic to those skeptical of what they or the people they are sympathetic to have no experience with. We all have to be skeptical in some ways. I think those of us who have had experiences that lead us to other conclusions should be understanding and charitable towards those who simply haven’t had those experiences.

  8. Scientific conclusions have become sacrosanct, because too many people incorrectly assume success of applied science engenders full faith in theoretical science. All too often people say, “Look, science gave us microwaves, quick travel, vaccines, and satellites. Therefore, we must have absolute trust in cosmology, gravitation, electromagnetism, and evolution.” This argument is flawed.

    Too few people understand the fundamental disconnect between engineering and theoretical science. We see this in physics all the time. Any number of theories fit the body of experimental fact. In some cases (i.e. classical mechanics) we are on theory number three, at least. We as scientists tend to prefer the theory that looks most simple or most familiar, neither of which guarantees the correct answer. If only we as a scientific community could recognize this a little more often.

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