The Pathology of Reason

“Once a person has come to faith, it is faith that must have the primacy in the relationship between faith and reason.” —Pope St. John Paul II

Ludwig Seitz (1844–1908), “Faith and Reason United”
Ludwig Seitz (1844–1908), “Faith and Reason United” (photo: Public Domain)

“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by Scripture.” ― Thomas Paine


Without a doubt, we are made in God’s image.

In some strange, materialistic and evangelistic climes, this has come to mean that God has two arms, two legs, some molars and an appendix.

This is not only ridiculous but also blasphemous.

Jews and Christians aren’t pagans wallowing in the mud and in the blood of infants casting spells at midnight that have no effect. Rather, by the awful grace of God, we resemble him in his Love and Reason.

No other creature ― other than the angels ― are made in God’s image. The lower animals, as wonderful and splendid as they are, can neither love nor reason.

When we love and reason ― we reflect God’s inherent, magnificent nature when we embrace the gifts he has bestowed us. Those who refuse to love or use reason reject God and the holy image in which we are made. Sociopaths, narcissists and unrepentant sinners refuse to love anyone but themselves. Those who have cast aside reason, logic and critical thinking are no better than animals because they rely upon their feelings.

Don’t get me wrong ― emotions are great. Well, at least the pleasant ones are. Screaming like a banshee because the barista at Starbucks misspelled your name on your cup that you plan to throw away 10 minutes after you finish your triple, venti, half-sweet, no-foam, nonfat, light-ice, sugar-free syrup, quad, no-whip, mocha, caramel macchiato isn’t a “good” emotion. Physically or verbally attacking someone for no other reason than because he disagrees with you, isn’t good. In short, justifying one’s violence by saying, “Well, he deserved it,” is bad. If you feel good about hurting people with your unbridled emotions and your ad hoc non-existent rights, you have more problems than merely a lack of logic in your life. God is love (1 John 4:7-21). We fail to emulate him when we hate and refuse to forgive. God is Wisdom and Reason (Proverbs 2:6). We fail to emulate him when we ignore logic and facts and instead embrace our “feelings.”

Consider when someone who has wronged you comes to apologize. Sooner or later, he will admit that he was “stupid” or “foolish” for doing what he did. In that, there is a connection between the rejection of wisdom/logic/reason and sin. Thus, reason is not only perfectly compatible with both faith and the Faith, they are required of us. God is not merely reasonable ― he is Reason Itself. Just as God is not merely loving ― he is Love Itself.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI often wrote of the “pathology of reason” ― the willful refusal to think clearly and calmly and, instead, react emotionally. We see too many recent cases of orthodox Christians being attacked not because they hold an illogical opinion but rather because they refuse to put aside reason and logic. Transgenderism is a case in point. A man is a man regardless of whether he think himself a woman, a scooter or a light bulb. Fetal rights is another. If a baby isn’t a human being, what species is it? Logic is ineluctable. Resistance is futile.

I’m often told by atheists that the reason they don’t believe in God is because Christians haven’t proven that God exists. To the untrained ear, this might seem “reasonable” and “logical.” It isn’t.

This fallacy, which usually takes on the form of, “You’ve haven’t made your point therefore you are wrong,” is called Argumentum ad ignorantiam ― also known as the “Appeal to Ignorance,” made famous by the now mostly-vindicated Senator Joseph McCarthy when he wrapped up a list of communist sympathizers by adding, “I don’t have evidence that that this man isn’t a communist.”

If this logical fallacy ― and it’s definitely a logical fallacy, one of the first you learn when you study logic ― had any validity, it could then be used against atheists saying, “I’m not an atheist because atheists have refused to ― or have otherwise been incapable of ― proving God doesn’t exist.”

When people give up on logic, Logic gives up on them. A common ploy of irrational people is to deny both the need for and existence of logic. However, the rejection of logic is the first step toward losing one’s mind and soul. Without logic, we are merely animals wallowing in the mud, oblivious to our humanity and the God who created us.

I’ve had atheists say that logic is irrelevant because it’s merely chemicals misfiring in our neurons which, in turn, creates a series of confused ideas that seem “logical” to us. This is ridiculous nonsense for many reasons. If reason is reducible to merely a test tube of chemicals:

  • How did the atheist come to this conclusion? Though logic? that can be ignored because logic is merely a test tube of chemicals.
  • What proof does he offer that his assessment is correct? (Short answer: none.)
  • If materialists are certain that everything is matter and can be explained materialistically, they have the duty and responsibility to prove their conclusion using merely material and no “make-believe” logic and science. Thus far, they haven’t.
  • If logic is merely a confused chemical delusion then it follows that empirical observation is the same kind delusion. And, how can we be sure either way?
  • If logic is merely a confused chemical delusion then how is it that all humans not suffering from mental illnesses can agree as to what is logical except those who reject it?
  • How is it that science can be devoid of logic? Must we fashion a science that is instead relies upon intuition, feelings, guesses, gossip, innuendo, daydreams, paranoia, assumptions and embracing our ignorance? That doesn’t sound even remotely scientific, though too many so-called academics seem to have been going down that desolate road for decades now. Paul Z. Meyers, the biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris who desecrated a consecrated Host on July 24, 2008, often spoke publicly about the worthlessness of logic and his refusal to succumb to it.
  • If chemical evolution randomly came up with logic, how is it that atheist materialists came up with their “non-logic” and how does it make then more “evolutionarily” fit? How can they tell the difference between their non-logic and any other short-circuited mental disorder in their diseased brains?
  • How did atheists discover that logic is nonsensical without the use of logic? Was it their feelings that told them so? If so, my feelings tell me they are wrong and therefore I’m right.

Faith and Reason are two sides of the coin and inseparable. Reason leads to Faith and Faith leads to Reason. Faith is more important than reason but the latter mustn’t be discounted. As Pope St. John Paul wrote in his Fides et Ratio:

The human person who is open to a revelation and seeks to discern it will come to the conviction that he has found an authentic revelation through a variety of means. His decision to embrace it must be rationally defensible, even if he himself is not yet able to mount that defense, but he will not necessarily proceed by any strict method of rational analysis. At some point he will embrace it as certain based on the confluence of a wide variety of evidence, including (as I mentioned) personal experience, testimony, authority, reason, explanatory power, and a certain sense of fitness. It is at this point that he is said to put his faith in it. And my main point in this particular essay is that once a person has come to faith, it is faith that must have the primacy in the relationship between faith and reason.

Anonymous, “God the Geometer,” ca. 1220

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