[The previous series, 108, can be found [url=http://www.evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=402&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a]here. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found here. This series, 109, picks up with the topic arrived at the end of the previous series. The current overall topic of series 106 through 109, is the relation of reasoning to belief.]
[Entry 1 for “Religious Belief and Reasoning”]
Some people (believer and sceptic alike) will still have problems with the concept that anything definite may be discovered about the Ultimate Reality. To the sceptics, especially the atheists who are philosophical naturalists, I reply that we discover apparent truths about Nature and its operations and character all the time, and use (sometimes incorrectly, but sometimes correctly, too) such information all the time. This is despite the fact that if non-sentient Nature is the foundation of all reality, then it must be as impossible for derivative human reasoning to fully understand it, as for us to fully understand a sentient ultimate Fact.
For that matter, it seems clear from the science of quantum mechanics that whatever Nature is–whether it is the Final Fact or a derivative entity itself–humans are not capable of completely comprehending it. Quantum indeterminacy assures us of this. But we did discover quantum indeterminacy; and it hasn’t stopped us from learning plenty of useful and (as far as we can tell) true positive characteristics of Nature.
For instance, Newton’s physical laws may have been transcended by quantum physics, but they have not been abrogated; we can still calculate with virtual certainty what will happen when physical bodies with characteristic set ‘A’ interact in fashion ‘B’. So atheistic naturalists, at least, should (in principle) already understand and accept that we are not barred from discovering particular and practical characteristics of the Final Fact merely by it being the Final Fact.