Magical Reason

Reason is unimaginable. It has no shape, density, color, or velocity. If matter and energy were the only things to

Like Magic!

Like Magic!

exist, reason would not exist. On the other hand, faith would exist, or at least a simpler version of it. Faith is an outgrowth of experience and trust after all. Dogs have faith, flies have faith, atheists have faith (in reason (and proselytizing atheists have faith in free will)). Of the two, faith and reason, reason is more magical, it is more supernatural. You cannot set up a scientific experiment to test if reason exists, because the experiment assumes reason from the outset. Science cannot disprove the supernatural, cannot disprove magic, because it assumes the supernatural.

The natural version of faith is the simple one of experience, you can trust or believe in something because you have experienced it. The supernatural version is believing in things unseen, like the supernatural. Reason has no natural version, it is purely supernatural. It takes things unseen and manipulates them by unseen means to find more meaning, to find more truth. It is mysteriously present in our thinking, and it magically allows us to see the unseen. It is our magic eyes in a way.

Science assumes reason, and it assumes patterns. It can either fantasize that these patterns are unbreakable laws, or that these patterns can be practically put to use. Either way, the scientific method assumes both reason and repeatability in nature. Both have to be taken by faith. Both elements are supernatural. After all, what does the law of gravity look like? It has no color, velocity, or weight. The facts of falling bodies could be just as accurately described as the ‘enchantment’ of gravity as it could the ‘law’ of gravity.

Reason is practical, ubiquitous, and necessary, but it is still a mysterious supernatural element. A wizardry peculiar to humans among animals. It may very well be an illusion, but that is as unprovable as its existence.

On our hearts

Joshua Fahey is a Chestertonian who enjoys a little polemicism to spice up his life.

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