virus: Faith/Reason

Brett Lane Robertson (
Thu, 18 Sep 1997 23:52:21 -0500

B>Using the equations of "faith - reason", faith (alone), and "faith +
>reason," the "faith alone" category seems to be the logical choice

K:Why is "faith alone" a logical choice, especially as "faith alone" isn't
supposed to appeal to logic *at all*? Simply by making that statement you
move from the "faith only" camp into the "faith + reason" camp.

B>(being at
>the center and able to benefit from changes in either of the other

K: I strongly disagree. I see faith as being on one end of the spectrum and
reason being on the other. Faith + Reason is in the middle. "Faith -
Reason" is redundant, since Faith does not rely on Reason. Since Faith
doesn't have Reason in the equation in the first place you can't subtract
it (because it isn't there). Mind you, faith and reason are not
necessarily opposites, but are different ways of approaching/justifying
religious belief. They *can* be complimentary, or they can be conflicting,
depending on the situation and the way a person approaches their religion.
At least that's how i see it. I think i should clarify here that when i
say "faith" in this way, i'm using a less mystical and more "classical"
definition of it, along the lines of believing or trusting in something
when you have no proof. There are other definitions of faith, such as the
more mystical one which i do like, but which doesn't really fit with this
argument (if i used it in that way here, i'd need to come up with another
word for "believing or trusting without proof"... hmmm, perhaps Anthony de
Mello was wrong about his definition of faith which i liked so much after
all). In this way, Faith + Reason could also be defined as "believing or
trusting based on some reasoned arguments but not conclusive proof."
(Differing opinions strongly encouraged.)

B>--but faith is not a static designation. "Faith" is a
>sub-category off "grace". Grace may be thought of as a measure of faith and
>hope (or summed up as "charity"--equal parts of faith and hope...equal
>chances ["Many are called and few are chosen"]).

K: Where did this assertion come from? Why should i accept this statement as
fact? What exactly is it supposed to mean, anyway?

B: >According to Hermetic principals (someone help me), one of these graces
>becomes externalized and the other internalized--if faith is faith in
>reason, then hope is hope that others reason as well. Using this paradigm
>(faith is a level of association with the One reason...externalized as
>hope), then the internal path to salvation is "reasonable" or "reasoning"
>but not "reason"--as "reason" destroys hope.

B>Other possibilities are: 1. to manufacture grace (which is to go against
>reason) or 2. to externalize reason in the form of hope and internalize
>faith (in defiance of reason...that is to accept self-doubt--at least in the
>form of chance). 3. to internalize hope in the form of reason and
>manufacture faith.

K: I have totally lost you here. I don't know about Hermetic principles so it
might help a lot if you could explain where these ideas came from, exactly
what they mean, and why those claims are made.

>Take care,


Mine was a treatise on faith and not reason. I began with the assumption
that faith was a pure form (a way of discerning truth on par with reason,
knowing, understanding, revelation, and "incarnation"--*being* an example of
truth). Assuming that faith was equal to reason and not just an inferior
form of reason I placed it on its own continuum: "Lots of faith" to "little
faith". Comparing faith to reason, I assumed that there would be pure faith
in the center with "+ reason" at one end and "-reason" at the other. This
placed faith-the-pure-form in the center benefitting from inconsistencies
and consistencies in the other two categories. Or more exactly: Assuming
that faith was sufficient for discerning truth, reason which subtracted
from this faith would itself be subtracted--and other reason by
association--so that faith remained consistent to the detriment of reason
forming the "faith - reason" category (similarly the faith + reason category
was formed). The drawback of doing this is the assumption that faith is
sufficient alone, with or without reason, and the circular reasoning which
therefore places faith, as a pure form, in the center.

To deal with this drawback, I further clarified that faith is not a pure
form (so I could figure in this contingency). From my own work I had
previously concluded that the best way to classify "faith" is by using the
term "grace"--particularly because faith, hope, and charity are
mythologically referred to as "The Graces" (I assumed that there was a
connection between the three and verified that assumption thorough my
studies). The relation between inductive reasoning and deductive
reasoning--that the first uses categories which are distinct and equal,
while the second uses a hierarchical ordering of information--is similar to
the relationship I attributed to hope and faith (hope is tautological like
inductive reasoning, and faith is teleological like deductive reasoning).
Charity fell in the center representing chance, reward/punishment, behavior,
development, and understanding (understanding being to inductive and
deductive reasoning what charity is to faith and hope). This study came to
be known as my study of the best summarized by the law of
charity (or chance). And puts faith in the impure position--being part of
charity or grace and being balanced with hope.

The third bit of study which I used to explain the difference between faith
and hope as forms of charity was what I call an "internal/external" paradox
(an internal perspective, I assume, is Hermetic--as in "Hermetically
sealed", that is perfect as long as it is not corrupted by external
observation...I asked for someone to tell me if the internal/external
designation is relevant to hermeticism because I thought they may know and I
do not). Anyway, assuming that faith is internal and hope external (or
defining it in myself, hope in others...I eliminated the
internal/external paradox by saying "OK, if hope is external and faith
internal (holding it as a constant), then the relationship between faith and
reason is no longer that of an impure and a pure form--but that of two pure
forms (I did this by assigning reason the designation of "ONE REASON").

The relationship between faith as a pure form and reason as a pure form
(both pure in that they are internal designations...I can use them
regardless of if they actually discern truth--they discern personal truth)
is that reasoning can create charity and faith can create charity (or that
either can elevate me statistically from chance--the relationship between
charity and chance, again, is that they are both arbitrary occurrences "give
and take" , 50/50). The relationships I formed were that one can take from
reason to give to chance, take from faith to give to chance, or take from
chance to give either reason or faith:

>Other possibilities are: 1. to manufacture grace (which is to go against
>reason) or 2. to externalize reason in the form of hope and internalize
>faith (in defiance of reason...that is to accept self-doubt--at least in the
>form of chance). 3. to internalize hope in the form of reason and
>manufacture faith.

I see now that I complicated this some by using the internal and external
designation of faith/hope, and used "grace" and "chance" interchangeably.

*That's* how I came up with my equations. What am I really saying?: That
faith and reason both draw from chance occurrences and are ways of ordering
them...that IF there is a relationship between the two of them which
increases the likelihood of chance (or grace), they appear to be those
above--put into words so that one might "feel" the consequences of each. I
feel that internalizing hope in the form of reason and manufacturing faith
[from chance] is a self-regulating system which produces more of each
quantity. My studies back up this observation.


Rabble Sonnet Retort
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - and Jill a
wealthy widow.

E. Esar