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Rat Choice Theory--Part 9 or The Wisdom of Conservative Women--Part 2

OK, I lied. Here’s one more--Maggie Gallagher’s--comment on the pope’s speech. I recommend it as a simple and clear statement of the real issue: "The alternative to a new synthesis of faith and reason...is to remove reason from the most urgent questions human beings face, including this one: How do we live together in peace?"

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Yes, indeed. This is not just a question between different faiths, but, as I read Benedict, a question within the family so to speak. Lost among the hoopla, is that the Pope was speaking to Christians as well.

The pope was speaking to everyone. The pope was speaking of Ontological structures...namely the problem of ontological structures and our relation to them as human beings...as thinking and thus as necessarily ontological creatures. If there is to be a synthesis of faith and reason it is to be that faith is the ontological structure and reason proceeds from it. That is to say that the ontologizing of reason itself necessarily shapes what that reason will discover. Thus the reason of the muslim is different from the reason of a catholic and this is different from the reason of a scientist because each proceeds from a different ontology. The entire idea of a liberal education is to provide truths that proceed from different ontologies so as to immunize man from the effects of a narrow "radius of reason". The only way to live together in peace is to come to embrace the logos behind the liberal education...the experience of the "Universitas" that is in effect to say that one does not have to be a muslim or scientist to understand truth but in fact must be neither or must come to understand that any particular view is only a narrow slice of the radius of reason. And this is subjectivism properly understood. Thus in my book the pope is a wise subjectivist. A Socratic observer/questioner and perhaps even a pyrenean sceptic. In fact the pope’s words are my beliefs(so I pat myself on the back) In the end I think the pope has effected a sort of Lockean/Humean synthesis and recaptured the true spirit of the enlightment. Of course this is to ontologize the pope’s thinking into my box...but to realize this human failing is to come back to the central questions...thus we are back thinking about E pluribius Unum. Is it possible that I am an anti-Catholic, Catholic? In any case I fully support this particular pronouncement by the Vatican.

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