I have long maintained that reason is merely a data-processing engine; good at things like logic, inference, deduction, analysis, and synthesis. But cannot perceive truth. Reason can be fooled with stuff like this: Max is a cat; all cats are green; THEREFORE, Max is green. Perfectly good syllogism, but clearly a false conclusion. Here's another example: If God is good; and if God is omniscient; and if God is omnipresent; and if God is omnipotent, then why is there pain (or evil) in the world? I think the problem is in the first premise: God is not "good". That is, God is not the sort of thing that does what I like, necessarily. Those who "eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" are people who act on the basis of their own understanding of what they like ("good") and what they dislike ("evil"). Jesus, of course, stands this definition on its head: Lk 18:18-19. The principle Jesus applies is basically what God said to identify himself for Moses: "I am that I am, tell them that the I AM sent you." God is what God is, and God is the only definition of what is "good", by Jesus' standard. Any deity that can be conjured to do what I like, merely because I think what I like is "good", is not God. So if the tsunami kills hundreds of thousands, that must be "good". It's how I condition my thinking about it based on my identification with the people killed and my own desire for self-preservation that's "evil". And, as to that latter point, Jesus consistently points out that the drive for self-preservation is the thing that will kill us spiritually: "He who would save his life shall lose it, but he who would lose his life for my sake, shall gain it."; and, "From him who has not, what little he has shall be taken away."; and, "He would be my disciple must die to self daily, take up his cross, and follow me." But this is not a matter of intellect or reason. Self-absorbed, self-important, self-worship is fed by clever argument and intellectual word games. The fact that some folks have an amazing capacity for rhetoric and argument has absolutely nothing to do with their spiritual health or their ability to guide others. Such people are too busy eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Excerpt fr/"The Book of Chuang Tzu", Martin Palmer, trans.; 1996 by Penguin Books, NY NY., pp. 97-98. ===== Wanna kill these ads? We can help!