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Let Us Reason Together

Many times when I am discussing religion with the religious, I talk about how the Bible does not support critical thinking and instead praises faith over reason. This to me is one of the biggest problems with religion. Every once in a while however a Christian will tell me that the Bible supports reason and critical thinking and will quote part of Isaiah 1:18 in which God says, “Come now, and let us reason together.”

First and foremost, I want to point out that the Bible from start to finish is an authoritarian series of books. God’s the boss and you do what he says or else. God allows certain privileged few to be authoritarian as well from kings, prophets, to the “son of man.” On a smaller level, 1 Corinthians 11:3 gives man authority over the household… among other verses.

The whole idea of the Bible seems to be designed to oppose reason at almost every turn and yet some religious believers will quote Isaiah to defend their view of an intellectual religion in which reason and critical thinking is central even when the Bible is stacked full of unreasonable claims and unreasonable punishments for questioning hose claims.

But I digress… if religious believers want to bring out the old “let us reason together” bullshit, we should take advantage of that opportunity. It is the proverbial foot in the door. Do these religious believers really want to “reason together” or do they just want to argue. If they really want to reason together, then they must be willing to follow their reasoning to its logical and reasonable conclusions. Are they prepared to do that? I think it is important to ask this question point blank and to make them aware of what they are committing to.

This is where the fun begins. Now we can talk to these religious believers and hold them to the standards of reason and logic of the secular world. If they are going to make an absurd claim, they need to have some pretty solid evidence to back it up. “God works in mysterious ways” isn’t going to cut the mustard any more. They promised to reason together and to follow that reasoning to its conclusion. They may need to be reminded of this several times in the conversation, but I think it is important.

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