We previously discussed that some “establish” truth by whatever they individually think is truth. (And we’re seeing in today’s culture where that method leads us). Let’s observe a second way people find guidance in their life: they rely upon their powers of reason. Reason is worshipped as the way to find the truth about almost anything. Plato reviled Pythagoras for not making reason his ultimate means to find the right way to live and think. The idea that “Man is the measure of all things,” for Plato, evaded the real source of guidance. Indeed, reason is given by the gods, Plato thought, to enhance our choices, develop our intelligence, and lead us on the path to truth.
Reason, recently demoted as unimportant
Likewise, reason as a path to truth has appealed to many, even to this day. It has become the first and the only “go-to” for solving the mysteries of life and of the world. Only recently in the ideological culture of our day has reason been demoted to be of little importance.
Power of Reason as a path to truth and morality
Society often appeals repeatedly to reason as the source for determining right and wrong, becoming the path to the creation of societal morals. Let’s think about what this enthronement of reason really means.
Granted, human reason has achieved great things in scientific and technical endeavors and we can see it as an excellent tool to discover some truths about ourselves and our universe. A tool, but not the only tool. Not even the best tool at times. Why? Because, like humans, reason is not infallible and can be misleading if it is not taking all the facts into account or does not know all the facts involved. Alexander Pope, a famous poet, coined the phrase, “To err is human; to forgive is divine.” All humans err. However, not all humans forgive.
We can’t expect the reason of an imperfect creature to be perfect guidance in life, can we? In fact, simple common sense negates that possibility. Furthermore, reason is not reliable because it can also be arbitrarily biased and distorted. When reason rejects an obvious explanation of facts because of some closely held ideological beliefs, it commits the error of inexcusable bias.
Therefore, reason itself would conclude that reason is a helpful, but less than a complete, method of arriving at the full truth.
The Path to Truth lies beyond the power of reason
Beyond logic and reason, there are facts that can lead us to very different conclusions. For example, beliefs and faith can often lead us beyond reason to explain the mysteries of life and even of our universe, to the surprise of many who follow Plato’s path to truth.
We must combine reason with belief because the right belief is the precondition that directs reason to the truth. All religions, philosophical systems, and ways to live and govern actually begin with unproven and unprovable beliefs. The wrong belief leads to failure; the right one leads to truth. We must ask, is there a more trustworthy path to the discovery of truth?
Today’s parenting thought:
If signs of depression are evident in your child, stir their deepest InnerKinetic strengths first. Then turn to further help, if needed. For the SP, provide more of the excitement of life. For the SJ, make them feel approved and secure in their world. For the NT, provide a challenge and the independence to find the path to its solution. Do so while showing much sincere approval of their success. For the NF, create stronger relationship bonds with much more love and attention.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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Lean into the whole truth. Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are. Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation. An InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.