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ROBOTS OR RATIONAL BEINGS?

Which did God create?

Let us begin our discussion today with an example from real life! You’ve no doubt met folks like the one below.  Like robots they repeat for reasons what they’ve heard in the media.

Perhaps you’re discussing the coming election in Yourtown: "Sir, if you vote for Mr. Popularity, think what he’ll do when he gets into office.  You know he has already made some wrong choices.  Your vote is worse than wasted.  Besides, you’re not voting for the one your conscience tells you you should vote for.  Do you think God will bless you for that?"

Do you know what his response will be?  "Well, uh, Mr. Honesty can’t win so why should I vote for him?"  Duh!

How did men become so lacking in the ability to reason?  Is it possible to recapture this marvelous ability?  And, another question: what does "cause and effect" have to do with the ability to reason logically?

Below is a very popular cause and effect promise from God.  In this verse the cause is bolded and the effect, italicized. Notice how God phrases this promise: "If....then:...."

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (II Chronicles 7:14)

In the above argument our Creator told the Israelites that: because they were not humble and had sinned, they needed to humble themselves, and pray, and seek his face, and turn from their wicked ways, that is repent.

Then, if they would repent of those wicked ways, the result would be that He would "heal their land."

As men have to do with the Almighty God of the universe, it stands to reason (there’s that word again) that the best thing they can do is think about the consequences of their decisions as Job did: "wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes," (Job 42:6).  No doubt the consequences that followed instantly come to your mind.

Reasoning gives us encouragement to do many things.  For instance when it is necessary to rebuke someone we have the promise that if we, "in meekness instruct those that oppose themselves;" we can expect God "will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" and they who are taken captive by the devil at his will “may recover themselves out of his snare,” (II Timothy 2:25-26)  The ability to reason is quite valuable, isn’t it?

Is it becoming evident how important learning to reason is; how important for others to be taught to reason; for still others, how important it is to be given a new heart so they can reason in a godly manner?

Think about the illustration above: Because the voter didn’t reason from cause to effect but simply repeated what he had heard over and over, his choice was not based on cause and effect: poor character results in poor decisions.  His vote was worse than wasted.

That brings up an important concept: “As a man thinks in his heart (cause), so is he (effect).  If our hearts are kept pure, out of them will come pure words and actions.  Let us look at  a few verses from the book of James.  You will quickly see how easy it is to follow James’ argument in regard to this matter.  James notes:

(With the tongue) bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

Then he asks a few questions to remind us that the heart cannot be pure that can do this.  He says:

Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries?  either a vine, figs?  so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?  let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.  (James 3:9-14)

Everywhere we look in the Word of God we see the ability to reason being brought into the picture; we see the phenomenon of "Cause and Effect" being used to guide us in the right way.  It starts right out in Genesis.  Just read the conversations between God and Adam and Eve.  Be sure to notice the frequent use of because.

The above arguments are drawn from the Bible and Noah Webster’s method of discovering answers to problems: start with a statement that expresses a condition, research the principles and causes for the condition and show what the results are or could be.  Examine the premises and decide: are these excuses or are they valid reasons?  We are grateful for Webster’s clear explanation of the difference between the offering of reasons for a thing and the offering of excuses:

Excuses are pleas offered in extenuation of a fault or irregular deportment; apology.  Every man has an excuse to offer for his neglect of duty.  (Webster)

Reason, in the English language, is sometimes taken for true and clear principles; sometimes for clear and fair deductions; sometimes for the cause, particularly the final cause.  It is a faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes truth from falsehood, and good from evil, and which enables the possessor to deduce inferences from facts or from propositions...

Are children encouraged to reason from cause to effect?  Are they challenged to use logic to gain insight into questions?  Or are they being trained to be programmed robots?  If so, what can you do to alleviate this problem?  Your answer will determine whether you and your family will contribute to the changes that will restore this nation to its Biblican foundations.

 Come now, let us reason together, sayeth our God.  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  (II Cor. 10:5)


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