Ignorance makes people use reason unreasonably

Some people say, “Science is based on reason, whereas religion is based on superstition. So we should use scientific reason to drive out religious superstition.”

While much that goes on in the name of religion is indeed superstitious, still the central core of religion isn’t – its essential principles can be understood through reason. The Bhagavad-gita, for example, is a book wherein God himself teaches universal truths using not the force of his supreme authority but persuasion through reason.

More importantly, not everything that goes on in the name of science is based on reason – much irrational dogma is foisted using scientific-seeming jargon upon gullible people who are captivated by the wonders of technology. Aggressive atheists frequently use reason unreasonably by misleading people into equating science with scientism. Scientism is the belief system that science is the only way to valid knowledge. This belief system is unscientific, for it can’t be proven by science. It usually springs from another related belief system, fanatical materialism, which holds that nothing exists beyond matter.

Of course, such fanatical materialists conveniently overlook or explain away the reality that matter lacks consciousness and is fundamentally different from consciousness. So, if matter is all that exists, then there’s no reasonable explanation for how and why consciousness exists. But consciousness is the pre-requisite for the exercise of reason; unconscious things can’t reason. A belief system that can’t reasonably account for the existence of consciousness has no reasonable basis for verifying or falsifying the correctness of any truth-claim, including the claim that matter is all that exists. Thus, the belief system of fanatical materialism ends up using reason unreasonably. Aptly, the Bhagavad-gita (18.22) indicates that such fragmented and fallacious use of our knowledge-acquiring faculty leads to knowledge in the mode of ignorance – such ignorant knowledge expands not our knowledge, but our ignorance.

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