Monday, March 10, 2008

The Shape of Trust

There is no need to limit our knowledge solely to what we can learn within the confines of our own subjective experience. We can share data, test conclusions, and thus expand our own knowledge. When collective experience and applied reason indicate the general shape of truth, we can get a fair idea of the bigger picture, even though it may not always be in sharp focus.

Many people who have adopted the postmodern outlook nevertheless believe in God. They seem to accept the idea of God intuitively without feeling any need for rational proofs. But even when believers don’t require verification, the capacity to verify must be there. It’s like a parachute or a fire extinguisher or a spare tire. You may never expect to use it, but you need to keep it handy. Belief in God must be rational even when reason is not actively engaged. Believers need to be ready to defend its rationality, because others out there do need to be convinced. For them, all unverified assertions or faith stories will seem like superstitious fables unless we can show them that our belief has a solid rational base.

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