Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Seeing With Both Eyes

My grandfather used to have a lot of antiques around his house and one of my favorites that he actually let me play around with was the stereoscope. It was a device that allowed you to view images taken by special cameras that appeared to be three dimensional when viewed through the scope. It was a non-digital precursor to sensory immersion virtual-reality. It appeared three dimensional because it was taken by two cameras located about as far apart as the human eyes are. The stereoscope allowed you to combine the two slightly different pictures into a 3-d image.

We see in 3-d because we have two eyes located a couple of inches apart. We actually see two slightly different images seen by the perspective of each eye but our wonderful brain has the God-given capacity to combine these two slightly different pictures into a 3-d image.

Once I had pink-eye and had to cover one eye in order to ease the discomfort and it's amazing how different the world is when you only have one functioning eye. I had a very hard time judging distances; I would reach for items right in front of me and miss because I couldn't accurately judge how far away they were. Fortunately it was only for a couple of days.

Our two eyes give us a clear view of the world that a man with only one eye must function without.

Of course you knew all of this and you wonder what the point is.

Intellectually we should have two eyes as well. Rationality and Faith.

Some people view these as opposites and that the presence of one destroys the other. I find this idea to be absurd.

If you have faith without reason you could wind up as any given religious fanatic of any faith or sect, be it a Islamic terrorist that you can never reason with, a self-described psychic, or some of the more overly-simplistic schools of Christianity. Without reason faith becomes loose and dangerous, or simply non-productive.

Reason without faith is equally foolish and equally dangerous. Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, etc all based their behavior on pure reason. Others sink into despair and Nihilism which are the logical conclusion of their mindset.

When faith and reason compliment each other and work together you see more and you see more clearly.

Faith and reason do not oppose each other but compliment each other. Faith and reason are the two eyes of the intellect.


Blogger Gayle said...

"faith and reason are the two eyes of the itellect."

That's extremely well put, Shoprat, as is the one versus two eyes comparison. I'm pretty aware of that too, as it seems I have a catarac developing in my right eye, which is causing blurred vision. I will be scheduling an appointment for it's removal.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Well said. That's the difference between Christianity and Islam. Islam does not value reason.

BTW I still had my 3D viewer that I got when I was ten years old.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Angevin13 said...

Shoprat, A very insightful post, no pun intended! :)


10:34 PM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Wow! Faith and reason - you're getting to be a real Thomas Aquinas!

Have a great day!

11:16 AM  
Blogger dons_mind said...

great post !! most eloquently written...

3:06 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Thank you, I do appreciate the comments and compliments.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

"Faith without reason." Wow. Three very powerful, powerful words.


5:08 PM  
Blogger ChrisA said...

Very well said there.

11:47 AM  
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