#44 Reason in Itself: Order in Discourse on Reason

PAPER NO. 44

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REASON IN ITSELF

Order in Discourse on Reason

  1. It is self-evident that we think; we form concepts, judgments and arguments. Denial of the self-evident is self-referentially absurd.
  2. It is self-evident that there are laws of thought: identity (a is a), non-contradiction (not both a and not-a in the same respect at the same time), excluded middle (either a or not-a). These laws are the laws of reason in itself.
  3. Reason as the laws of thought is natural, not conventional, the same in all who think.
  4. Reason as the laws of thought is the test for meaning; what violates a law of thought cannot be thought—it has no meaning. Meaning is more basic than truth: if there is no meaning there can be no truth. Reason is authoritative.
  5. Reason is ontological; it applies to being as well as thought: there are no square-circles; no being from non-being; no uncaused events. It applies to all being, to the highest being, to God’s being—God cannot be both eternal and not-eternal in the same respect at the same time. Reason (unlike the laws of nature) is an uncreated aspect of eternal being.
  6. Reason as the laws of thought is transcendental: it cannot be questioned since it makes questioning possible.
  7. Only reason as the laws of thought is self-attesting; it requires no justification. Attempts to justify reason results from failure to understand reason as the laws of thought. All else requires justification.
  8. Reason is used to understand all revelation—general (creation and providence) and special (scripture).
  9. Reason is used to understand the clarity of general revelation (Romans 1:20); what is against clarity is against reason and cannot be true.
  10. The life of the Logos, the eternal Word of God, is first in all men as light. Reason is the light by which we see/understand what is not visible. Reason is the self-attesting Word of God in all men.
  11. Reason is the ground of the Principle of Clarity: the basic things (about God and man and good and evil) are clear to reason.
  12. Failure to acknowledge what is clear to reason is inexcusable; it results in spiritual death—the increasing loss of meaning and morality.

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