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Believing impossible things — 3 Comments

  1. I agree it’s hard to get one’s head round this. On the other hand I think of one of G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories, ‘The Blue Cross’, in which Father Brown identifies the criminal Flambeau, who has disguised himself as a clergyman. How does Flambeau give himself away? He suggests there might be ‘wonderful universes above us where reason is wholly unreasonable’. As Father Brown says: ‘You attacked reason. It’s bad theology.’

  2. As a fan of Father Brown (and an English liberal when the wind is in a southwesterly direction), I am inclined to agree.

    I wonder, though, what Chesterton a conservative Catholic, would have made of Funes’ arguments, would he have have agreed with Engel that they were unreasonable?

    When the wind is north-easterly, and I am an evangelical Protestant, I would point to Paul’s words to the church at Corinth, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” and dismiss Father Brown’s argument that reason and theology could comfortably coexist!

  3. But it is something else to suppose that scientific methods and the truths thus arrived at constitute the only kind of knowledge we can have. It wasn’t that long ago that we thought the earth was flat!

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