Augustine on Faith and Reason

In his Confessions, Augustine tells how he became suspicious of the appeal to reason made by the Manichee’s.  In turn, he became more open to the possibility that not everything could be proven rationally.   Augustine writes,

I thought it more modest and not in the least misleading to be told by the Church to believe what could not be demonstrated – whether that was because a demonstration existed but could not be understood by all or whether the matter was not open to rational proof – rather than from the Manichees to have a rash promise of knowledge with mockery of mere belief, and then afterwards to be ordered to believe many fabulous and absurd myths impossible to prove true.  (Confessions VI.7)

Modern man mocks faith and believes the promises of science.  But these same mockers end up believing many “fabulous and absurd myths impossible to prove true.”  ie. the theory of how the first DNA molecule evolved from the primordial soup; or the multiverse theory that has been proposed to account for the fine tuning of our own particular universe for conscious life.   Sometimes the modern Scientist looks a lot like the ancient Manichee.

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