Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Religious People aren't Reasonable?'

Quite a few folks really believe this:
"Rational arguments don't usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn't be religious people."
- Doris Egan
Unhappily, quite a few "religious people" seem determined to prove that Doris Egan is right. I've been over that before:
Faith is not opposed to reason. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 35) But being a Catholic does not guarantee that a person will be reasonable.

With more than 1,000,000,000 of us alive at the moment, I'd be astonished if some of us weren't the sort of "religious people" Doris Egan had in mind. The Catholic Church, though, has no problem with reason. There's more about that under "Background," at the end of this post.

Why are so many folks convinced that religious beliefs can't be reasonable? I think part of the problem is confusing religion with emotion.

Religion as an Emotional High?

Emotions, by themselves, aren't good or bad. But we're supposed to govern our passions with reason. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1767)

The Catholic Church's approach to reason and emotion doesn't fit notions about religion being all about 'spiritual uplift,' 'feeling saved,' or 'being high on Jesus.'

Then there are things like the dark night of the soul, dying to self, and the way our brains are wired: but I'm trying to cut down on how many topics I put in one post.

Related posts:
Sort-of-related posts:
  • Reason
    • Isn't opposed to faith
      (Catechism, 35)
    • Is a critical part of
      • Conscience
        (Catechism, 1778)
      • Human law
        (Catechism, 1902)
      • Natural law
        (Catechism, 1954-1960)
    • As intellect, an attribute of God
      (Catechism, 271)
    • An ability which makes human beings like God
      (Catechism, 1730)
  • Emotions
    • Are "natural components of the human psyche"(Catechism, 1764)
      • Aren't "good" or "bad" by themselves
        (Catechism, 1762-1770)
    • Should be governed by reason
      (Catechism, 1767)

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.