Important: Humanists Want Monopoly on the Word: “Reason”

By Jon|June 8, 2012|Education, Enlightenment, Higher Education, Modern Philosophy, News Commentary, Religion, Theism/Atheism|

I've decided that I will start an organization here in Chicago that will promote….Veracity and Correctness! This organization will hand out flyers to people on the importance of being Correct in what you say and organize events to criticize those who aren't Correct as not belonging to the organization I just started! 

Well, this simple branding and marketing of a philosophy is essentially what has been going on since the 'enlightenment' (circa 1700) as I have mentioned countless times before. The priesthood of Auguste Comte and the religion of humanity established on Cult of Reason (Culte de la Raison) continues, despite him passing away long ago. 

    Modern Science that is
  • 1792 The Cult of Reason was firmly established in the heart of France (Paris) resulting from the change in the above understanding of scientia (knowledge). There is science in the classical understanding and science in the modern understanding which for the most part overthrew it (not necessarily out of 'correctness'). From Wiki:
    • The programme of dechristianization waged against Catholicism, and eventually against all forms of Christianity, included:[1][2][3]:
      • confiscation of church lands, which were to be the security for the new Assignat currency
      • removal of statues, plates and other iconography from places of worship
      • destruction of crosses, bells and other external signs of worship
      • the institution of revolutionary and civic cults, including the Cult of Reason and subsequently the Cult of the Supreme Being,
      • the enactment of a law on October 21, 1793 making all nonjuring priests and all persons who harboured them liable to death on sight.
    • The climax was reached with the celebration of the Goddess “Reason” in Notre Dame Cathedral on 10 November 1793 where the Christian high altar was removed and a statue to the Godess of Reason was installed in its place.  14 other parishes in the city of Paris were converted into Temples of Reason. 
  • This new promotion of reason, redefined took on a synonymy or likeness with “modern empirical science” itself. 
  • Dawkins continues to gather masses for “Reason Rallies” around the world


  • The New Orleans Secular Humanist Association is the host of the 71st Annual American Humanist Association Conference. The wonderful 'religiously non-religious' event begins tomorrow. In anticipation of the event, NOSHA's site even posted that “the City” proclaimed a “Day of Reason” in New Orleans…because of the attendance of nearly 20,000 people at Dawkins' Reason Rally in DC. Sounds like a rather small gathering for DC to me considering hundreds of thousands come every year to advocate an end to abortion…
  • Dawkins calls on Catholics to admit they don't believe. and takes joy in the decline of Catholic priests in Ireland.  (Posted today as well)
What's wrong with supporting reason? Absolutely positively nothing!
What's wrong with supporting science? Absolutely positively (no pun intended) nothing!
The problem is that the post enlightenment definitino of reason, or version of veracity that these people are promoting is inherently incorrect. The 'redefinition of reason' and the supposed independence of modern empirical sciences therefrom is based on a skepticism about our senses and intuition which is self destructive brings modern science down with it.  In fact it is so self destructive that it destroys modern science itself which is based on a trust that what we see….is actually what we see…what we read on a thermometer and what appears to exist actually does exist. It is internally inconsistent to claim that you don't believe metaphysics are possible and at the same time assert that something 'actually' and really does exist, by modern science or by intuition. However, the appearance that the sun revolves around the earth is not a failure of our senses. It is a failure of our interpretation. Should this failure really cause us to doubt that 'goodness' or 'telos/goal orientation' actually exists and that it is really just reducible to 'positive feelings' rather than the fulfilling of an object's nature? My answer is no. 
To recap, I think we can say there are two fundamentally different stems from which people view the world today. If you have been a frequent reader of this blog, you already know I have set up the following comparison, but now I will do it officially with “associated” key words attached. (Or just take a look at my labels section on the right side.) Let's recap again with my violent reduction of the 'scientific' situation
  • Classical Science (400 BC-1600 AD) 
    • We experience the world around us and enlightenment comes through an understanding of the objects' mechanical and goal-oriented behavior, which leads us to discover the good for ourselves and others and attain it. The goal towards which all things in existence are oriented is the good, being itself, which must be at least as perfect as its “orientees”. This is the God of classical theism, manifest in the Aristotelian tradition. More simply this is…that towards which all things have as their goal. 
    • Associated words in labels: Material, Formal, Efficient and Final Causality, Act and Potency, Theism, Teleology/τέλοϛ, Good, Aquinas, Realism. 
  • Modern Science (1600 AD – Present)
    • We experience our experience (starts in our minds) of the world and enlightenment comes through the understanding the object's mere mechanical behavior (often done through the scientific method), and that which is no longer about achieving an object's good in itself but rather the secondary and tertiary motivations, utility and pleasure (bonum delectabile and bonum utile) . The good is synonymous with 'positive' subjective experience and knowledge of God's existence is a leap of faith. 
    • Associated words in labels: Mechanical Philosophy, Humanism, Secularism, Material and Efficient Causes, Agnosticism, Atheism, Scientism, Scientific Reductionism, Idealism, Descartes, “Enlightenment”, Transhumanism
The Catholic Church, many of whose universities' philosophical understanding of classical Aristotelianism has been damaged in recent decades, continues to oppose this philosophical revolution. Most specifically, Pope Benedict spoke about it this past Easter. The logical conclusion of the redefintion of 'reason' hardly supports any religious view of the world since religion is not based on modern science. Hence, we see the results today in France. New Orleans isn't too far from France. 
We must restore proper classical science (which includes within it modern science) to the universities if for no other reason than modern science is inconsistent without it. 

Get your feet wet with basic outline of the matter. 

Who wants to start a 'Correctness' club? We can promote it and get the government to endorse it. 

About Jon

Jon connects leaders and organizations to Catholic philosophical resources to battle for the soul of the western world.