I’m a rational person, BUT . . .
The Christian scholar N.T. Wright is very smart, yet he suggests in the video below that reason, standing alone, is inadequate to arriving at truth. He wants us to consider arriving at truth by reason plus the following:
To my mind, this is smuggling in a great deal of baggage onto reason. If the claims that you make with regard to experience, tradition, or scripture cannot withstand the scrutiny of critical thinking (reason) I don’t see how these three things are of any assistance to arriving at truth. How, afterall, do you really support a claim—except by arbitrariness, blue smoke, and mirrors—without ultimately settling upon good reasons, logic, and evidence? I know that sounds humdrum, but, alas, that’s all critical thinking is. Nothing fancy.
Anyway, here’s what Wright has to say. What do you think? Is Wright being, well, reasonable?:
I’m sorry, but I can’t let this go. Why is reason “a shrunken set of tools”? And why is the insistence upon reason as the arbiter of truth made out to be an ideology: “rationalism”? What I’m hearing from Wright is rhetorical defamation absent good reasons to limit, well, reason.
And I notice at the end of the clip Wright insists that, when it comes to science, he’s happy not to go back to pre-Enlightenment days. He prefers to let reason—and nothing else—rule in the dentist’s chair, and he’s thankful for it. But what about the intellectual’s chair? Why, with regard to questions of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics, does reason suddenly become inadequate to Wright’s ultimate purposes?
Doesn’t that tell you something?