Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dilemma of Applying Reason

Almost all of us have been faced with the questioning of a child by repeating one word over and over. He can be very frustrating to us as he asks ‘Why?’ when you explain it is sharp, he asks ‘Why?’, and so you explain, ‘in order to cut fruit’, and he asks, ‘Why?’, and so it goes.
It illustrates the dilemma of applying reason. What we have to do when we apply reason is, first to set standards of proof. We decide for ourselves, ‘What will I be satisfied with if I find such and such, and so and so, so that constitutes for me a final proof?’ We have to decide on that first.
What happens through, is that on the really important issues, the philosophical matter, thinkers set standards of proof and they take a look at their subject and eventually they may arrive at their standards. They may arrive at the point which they say would constitute a proof, but then they ask for a proof of the proof.

Setting Standards
The key to avoiding this endless dissatisfaction is to satisfy ourselves about standards first; to satisfy ourselves that such and such are a list of criteria that constitute proof, satisfying proof, and then we test the subjects that we examine. In particular I will apply this to the Quran.
Ask a thoughtful Christian why he is a Christian, and he will usually reply, ‘The miracle of the Resurrection’. The basis for his belief being that about two thousand years ago a man died and he was raised from the dead. That is his miracle, his touchstone, because all else depends on that.
Ask a Muslim, ‘Well, what is your miracle? Why are you a Muslim? Where is your miracle?, and the Muslim can go over and take his miracle off the shelf and hand it over to you because his miracle is still with us today. It is the Quran, it is his touchstone.