Western Rationality or Objective Moral Reasoning: Which is More Biblical?

Moses with the Ten Commandments

The Politics Of Presuppositionalist Jebus

David Theo Goldberg in his Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning discusses at length the Western Man of Reason something that is culturally determined. In the post-Enlightenment modernist epistemology, that which is deemed rational in European terms excluded persons from other nations as “savages” and”irrational.” The advancement of knowledge as something to be discovered by person’s who were above bias as blank slates was a false myth that perpetuated (and continues to do so) some of the worst forms of human subjugation.

What makes Clement of Alexandria‘s definition of rationality/Reason so liberating is that he refused to separate the mind from the body, rational thinking from reasonable action.  A recovery of Clement’s understanding of reason, where a godly person both “speaks rationally and instructs lovingly” may be found in his writings such as “Sermon to the Greeks, chapter 10,” where he argues that

“those laws of reason  and words of sanctity  which are inscribed on men’s[sic] hearts: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as theyself, to him who strikes thee on the cheel, present also the other;” “thou shalt not lust for by lust alone thou hast committed adultery.”

Furthermore, Clement of A in Book I of The Educator, Chapter XIII, argues that to be rational is the same as being virtuous. Inspired by the Hebrew philosophy of Moses and the Prophets, Clement says that Reason rests upon “a system of reasonable actions” taught by “The Word of the Father” (Jesus the Messiah), “divine statutes and spiritual counsels, have been written for ourselves [the Church], being adapted for ourselves and our neighbors [the World].” For Clement of Alexandria, taking his logic to its natural conclusion, The Golden Rule (the summary of the Ten Commandments) is what is Rational, and anything that is contrary to it should be considered Irrational. As I argued in a post last April, The Golden Rule/The Royal Law of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you is what objectivity in scholarship should be about, loving your fellow human and NOT lording your biases over her as such.

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4 thoughts on “Western Rationality or Objective Moral Reasoning: Which is More Biblical?

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