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FAQ Policy. About this book This anthology of the very latest research on truth features the work of recognized luminaries in the field, put together following a rigorous refereeing process.
Show all. Table of contents 24 chapters Table of contents 24 chapters Introduction Pages Achourioti, Prof. How could God want such a thing? Surely Abraham was mistaken. Surely the revelation was wrong.
The logical contradictions were obvious; they defied reconciliation by even the most nimble mind. Abraham, prophet of God, was forced to disregard all reason and to follow revelation. The conflict between reason and revelation, shown so starkly in this story from Genesis, has busied Christian philosophers for centuries. Traditional Christianity, with its dual Jewish and Greek heritage, has always struggled to reconcile the legacies of its philosophical parents.
Both of these answers have become integral parts of Christian thought. Given the emphasis that Latter-day Saint doctrine places on truth and understanding, one must ask: Should Latter-day Saints consider reason and revelation to be fundamentally opposed to each other, or are both necessary in acquiring truth?
In short, does the restored gospel solve the apparent conflict between reason and revelation, and if so, how? According to the Bible, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord; according to the Greek philosophers, the beginning of wisdom is wonder. We are thus compelled from the beginning to make a choice, to take a stand. Where then do we stand? We are confronted with the incompatible claims of Jerusalem and Athens to our allegiance.
We are open to both and willing to listen to each.
We ourselves are not wise but we wish to become wise. With the Greek philosophers, the use of human reason took on a drastically new character. While those prior to the dawn of philosophy applied reason primarily in practical ways and left most fundamental questions to myth and tradition, the Greek philosophers began to question the assertions their myths made about the world. Revelation, on the other hand, is said to be not the product of any human wisdom or desire but wholly a gift from on high.
When Catholic theologians incorporated Greek thought into Christian doctrine, they had to alter the traditional idea of revelation to make the transplant fit. While revealed truth had traditionally been the only important knowledge, they made it merely a foundation for important knowledge. Whereas rabbis had memorized and dissected scripture in order to understand every nuance of its meaning, theologians began using it as a set of basic ideals and assumptions upon which the Greek philosophical and cosmological systems could be built—a decision whose flaws Galileo and others later made obvious.
While the Jews saw revelation as a complete and perfect law, the Catholics saw it as a completion and perfection of philosophy. At the same time, reason underwent its own changes.
When Galileo took up the defense of heliocentric Copernican astronomy, he was accused of heresy. Catholic cosmology was based on Aristotelian physics, which maintained that the earth was the center of the universe, around which all celestial bodies revolved. Considering this cosmology doctrine, Catholic theologians had found an array of scriptures that seemed to prove that the earth was stationary.
When accused of teaching ideas contrary to the Bible, Galileo responded by affirming his faith in scripture but denying that it could be applied to science. With this reasoning, Galileo cut science loose from its anchor of religious assumptions. The emancipation of reason from revelation had begun. Though Galileo would have disagreed vehemently with agnostic modern science on the question of religion, the scientific philosophy of skeptical empiricism is a descendent of his thought.
The trust he placed in reason and observation to find truth without relying on revelation was the first step toward dismissing anything reason and observation cannot prove as fantastic. Such is the nature of the modern conflict between reason and revelation. On the one hand are the agnostic scientists and many modern philosophers who generally believe that the world and life were created by chance and that morality is relative. On the opposing side are the evangelical Christians, orthodox Jews, and many other religious groups, most of whom believe in the Creation, biblical morality, and their respective canons of revealed truth.
Most people fall somewhere in the middle, letting science and reason determine some of their attitudes while still believing in a sphere where revelation trumps reason, deciding on a case-by-case basis which issues fall in which category. The thought that reason and revelation could be united in a manner satisfactory to both sides is generally dismissed as impossible.
I want to say that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts all that is true in the world from whatever source it may come, with the knowledge that it originated with the greatest of all scientists, our Father in Heaven. In the Brigham Young University library, a place symbolic of rational learning and home to mountains of empirical and logical evidence, hangs a small plaque with the above quote written on it.
First, the statement was made by a modern-day prophet, which is in itself a reminder that Latter-day Saints cannot abandon revelation for science and reason. FAQ Policy.
About this book This anthology of the very latest research on truth features the work of recognized luminaries in the field, put together following a rigorous refereeing process. Show all. Table of contents 24 chapters Table of contents 24 chapters Introduction Pages Achourioti, Prof. Theodora et al. Truth and Trustworthiness Pages Sheard, Michael.
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