The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

Reed Konsler (
Sat, 18 Oct 1997 18:08:12 -0400 (EDT)

>Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 16:26:41 -0600
>From: David McFadzean <>

>Yes, I'm serious and yes I'm frightened. :) I never would have guessed
>that I would be enlisting the help of a Christian to convince
>a bunch of secular humanists and at least one scientist of the
>value of rationality. But hey, I'll gratefully take help wherever
>I can find it.

Gosh, David. Nobody is arguing that rationality isn't VALUABLE.
Critical thinking is one of those skills that makes the difference
between the people who survive at the whim of fate and the people
who thrive. When I say "I recommend it to all my friends" I'm
not being flippant. I do. In my opinion reason, logic, and
introspection are the mental equivalent of a Swiss-army knife.

My disagreement is specifically with you, not logic in general.
The element of your thesis that I contend is incorrect is
contained in "Virion Sins and Virtues" in which you oppose
reason and faith as if they were opposites (they are not, except
using your defintions of those words, which are not common
definitions and with which I do not agree). If I have attempted
to undermine scientific and rational thinking it has only been
in a effort to demonstrate that it is a mortal tool, not to
advocate that we abandon reason.

I don't personally believe in God, but I do encourage people
to adhere to certian programs of behavior without recourse
to logical justifications. We should love our neighboor,
and our enemy as ourself. We should give even in circumtances
when we percieve ourselves to be in need. We should tolerate
difference, inefficiency, and incomprehesible behavior in others
to the furthest limit of our abilities. We should love
unconditionally and without regret. We should hold our
personal behavior to the highest standard...not the standard
of law, but of our own conscience. We should forgive.

For these reasons, and others, I claim to live a life "in faith".
If I do not surround these principles in the trappings of
mythology and transubstantiation I also do not find those
characteristics to be very significant one way or the other. In
my opinion, as I stated in my first message, one believes
as one acts. Speech acts, as the aphorisms tell us, are
inexpensive and not to be given much weight in deducing
what people believe. I know good people whom I
respect and who's comapny I enjoy. I know people
whom I do not like and do not trust. I haven't found any
correlation with religion or philosophy.

I do not consider "faith" to be a sin, vice, or heresy.
This does not imply that I do not value reason, logic,
rationality, or good old fashioned common sense.


Reed Konsler