Trying to make sense of encountering Christ seems an appropriate topic for Christmas Day
How is this topic relevant to my book Confronting Sexual Nihilism? In my book, I concede that the best reasoning cannot show us that reasoning presents us reality apart from our reasoning. Why? I cannot avoid using a Cartesian/Kantian method in which philosophizing is reason reflecting on reasoning. We cannot stand back from our reasoning and compare our reasoning with reality apart from reasoning. We need to stop reasoning and let ourselves be open to reality or being, with the hope that reality supports us in believing that our best reasoning presents to us reality as it is. In particular, the best reasoning for my fundamental moral principle – the Paternal Principle -does not show us that reality commands the Paternal Principle. Through living we have to discover that reality obligates us to obey the Paternal Principle. Through living we discover that the conceptual moral scheme we invented is correct.
Note that there is no assumption that reality contains only facts. Reality may issue commands as truth conditions for moral imperatives we justify by reasoning.
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has said that the truth of Christianity is an encounter with Christ. Why would I say that?
Consider the Apostle’s Creed. Justification for the creed can be given. But all that is said is simply more reasons. Giving reasons suports what we hold but reasons by themselves are not the truth conditions for what we give reasons. We have to encounter that which shows ultimately that our reasons are correct. It is not implausible to hold that the truth condition for Christianity would be Christ Himself.
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