To reason in religionis it possible?
Many people believe that you can not argue about religion. You should talk about it endless.
That is a misconception. If you know of each other's positions of thinking you can have a fruitful
discussion using only the strict rules of logic.
Axioms, postulates and dogmas
In every science you start with a number of basic assumptions which cannot be proven.
They are called axioms or postulates. In religion they are dogmas.
Every scholar believes in his foundation because he can develop a process of thinking. Within this
context he can invent experiments, with which he can test his ideas.
In physics among other things, believe in the existance of mass, electric charge, length and time.
In mathematics known to you the existence of straight lines and integers is accepted.
In this sense the exact sciences are also a kind of faith, because you have unshakeable confidence
in the postulates.
More then a century ago Riemann (and Lobachevski as well in another way) changed the axioms and a new
math was born: the non-Euclidean mathematics was invented.
So changing the postulates a whole new science comes out.
Another example: the late nineteenth century it was thought that radio waves move through an extremely
subtle matter called aether. Since Maxwell's theory we know that radio waves are fast fluctuations of
the electromagnetic field traveling with the speed of light.
If you want to discuss religious matters in a scientific way you must assume postulates called dogmas.
You summarize them in a creed.
Mystical experiences are observations beyond the known senses.
The vast majority of people is not aware of the fact that they can have mystical experiences, whether
they can have them.
Maybe you did not ever experience a mystical experience consciously. Then it is difficult to believe or to understand
that people can have such experiences
Seventy times seventy
In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis claim that every word in the Bible may have seventy times seventy
meanings. This adds that a sentence of ten words could have N different meanings.
N is a number with 46535 digits! ( Used was Stirling's approximation.)
Such a literal argument must be labeled as absurd: 'Yiddish exaggeration'.
Undoubtedly the idea is that an expression in the writings can be interpreted in many ways.
That means at least that every expression can be more than ambiguous.
In a world of scientific thinking only unambiguous statements fit.
Fuzzy assertions cannot be accepted.
If in the Bible the Creator says something or He commands then assuming our basic assumption is right
you and I must be able to trust that His expressions have exactly one particular meaning or purpose.
The difficulty of understanding an expression can be:
- the inadequacy of knowledge of the Semitic language, mainly due to the lack of vowels in the
written language. Centuries ago the main Semitic languages are the Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.
- the accents in a spoken language are not observable in written text;
- the lack of sufficient context;
- misinterpretation of context;
- not knowing what certain words mean, for example, because nowadays they have no meaning any more;
- not knowing well the habits of life in biblical times;
- rusted misconceptions, which are no longer recognized to be incorrect;
- the tendency to explain what fits best to the interpreter's own living conditions.