raushan
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Topic initiated on Wednesday, February 14, 2007  11:51 AM
Dilemma of Applying Reason
Dilemma of Applying Reason
Almost all of us have been faced with the questioning of a child by repeating one word over and over. He can be very frustrating to us as he asks "Why?" If you put a knife beyond his reach, he wants to know, "Why?" When you explain it is sharp, he asks "Why?" And so you explain, "in order to cut fruit," and he asks, "Why?" And so it goes.
It illustrates the dilemma of applying reason. What we have to do when we apply reason is first to set standards of proof. We decide for ourselves, "What will be satisfied with if I find such and such and so and so that constitutes for me a final proof?". We have to decide on that first.
What happens though, is that on the really important issues, the philosophical matters, thinkers set standards of proof and they take a look at their subjects and eventually they may arrive at their standards. They may arrive at the point which they say would constitute a proof. But then they ask for a proof of the proof.
Setting Standards
The key to avoiding an endless dissatisfaction is to satisfy ourselves about standards first; to satisfy ourselves that such and such are a list of criteria that constitute proof, satisfying proof, and then we test the subjects that we examine. Taking a Stand
Everyone must be committed to something. You have to put your foot down some place. It is impossible to be neutral at all times. There has to be a point of reference in the life of any thinking individual. You have to take a stand somewhere. The question, of course, is to put your foot down in the right place. Since there is no such thing as a proof of a proof of a proof and so on, in order to find the right place to put one’s foot down, to take a stand, we have to search and find that place and it is by a method that I hope to illustrate here.
It is a question of finding a point of convergence. You see, we search for truth in many places and we begin to know that we are succeeding in finding the truth if all our different paths start to converge; they start to come together at the same point.
If we are examining a book, looking for evidence of divine origin, and we are led to Islam, this is one path. If at the same time, we are examining the words of all those who were called prophets and we find ourselves led to Islam, we have a firmly grounded basis for belief We started looking for truth in two different places and found ourselves going down the path headed for the same destination.
No one ever proves all things. We have to stop at some point being satisfied with our standards as I have mentioned earlier. The point is, in order to take a stand and to be sure it is in the right place, we want to examine all the evidence around us and see where does it lead us and anticipate this point of convergence; to say it looks like all things are pointing to this place. We go to that place and then look at the data around us to see if it fits into place. Does it now make sense? Are we standing is on right place?
http://wings.buffalo.edu/sa/muslim/library/basics/index.html 
