Faculty meetings can range from mundane to invigorating, all in the same meeting!! This happened one day when an invited guest was explaining his thinking about truth vis a vis love. Now, this was a topic that interested me big time. It still does.
I have observed that some people are driven by truth to seek love. Some people are driven by love to seek truth. This does not necessarily set love and truth as contrary with each other. It simply means that not everyone is motivated the same way at the same time.
Perhaps having concluded that “God is a God of love” is a true statement about God, I will be motivated to experience that love. That would be a case of Truth driving me to Love, at least to God’s love. On the other hand, perhaps I have experienced the love of someone who has my well being as a core value. Sensing that, I want to know if that desire is simply an individual trait on the level of someone being an extrovert or an introvert. In other words, what is the truth about that desire? My wanting to know the truth about that person has been motivated by love.
I was delighted during that faculty meeting to be pursuing the topic. It got even more interesting when the speaker transitioned from the love-truth issue into the faith-reason issue. Would his point be that either faith must be the foundation for reason, or that reason must be the foundation for faith? Do I know because I have faith, or do I have faith because I know?
Unfortunately, the speaker did not recognize that the fallacy is not to select either faith over reason, or reason over faith. The fallacy is to make a selection in the first place. To make either faith or reason dominant over the other is to shoot ourselves in the foot.
Rather, let’s think of each of them as we think of our arms and legs; they don’t compete with each other, but complement each other. Each contributes to the general well being of something bigger than either – our entire body. Comparably, the mind (reason) and the spirit (faith) serve something else that is bigger than either. Depending on the body’s activity, one of the two (arms or legs) may have a greater role to play at a given moment. The goal determines the role of each. And, depending on the person’s activity, either faith or reason may have a more active role than the other at a given moment. But, it is foolish to think of either of the two as being more important, or serving as the measure of the other.