It is an obvious fact that the rational character of the universe cannot be explained rationally on the basis of something irrational! This is why the Logos that is at the origin of all things remains more than ever the best hypothesis, although this is of course a hypothesis that demands we give up a position where it is we who are in charge and that we take the risk of assuming the position of humble listeners.
Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, 99
Reflection – The obviousness of the fact that Ratzinger outlines here, and the stubborn refusal of so many supposedly bright (Bright?) people to see the argument, is almost comical. We are beings with reason. We can manifestly use our reason to understand the universe. Therefore, the universe has a rational character. But the universe, being inanimate, is not itself rational. Therefore, the rational character of the universe must come from something that is rational. Or, reality is absurd—there is no rational explanation for why a vast material cosmos produces a creature with rational properties who can use those rational properties to understand its reality.
As I say, this seems like such a strong and simple argument that it is almost comical that the Brights (those superior intellectual beings!) cannot follow it, apparently. It’s not an outright proof of God’s existence, simply a strong argument that either there is a Mind behind the universe or everything is utterly absurd.
But this Mind, then, asks to be minded, doesn’t it? And that’s the rub for us, I suspect. Once we allow for a Maker, a Designer, some fashion of Being who ordered all beings to His/Her/Its own purposes… well, then we can’t just do whatever we want, right? And I think this is the real issue behind much of the New Atheism, which is not terribly bright, really, not terribly strong in its arguments, and mostly good at vaunting its superior intellectual force as opposed to demonstrating it.Who is the Master – this is the question at stake here. Are we the biggest and brightest show in town, or is there Someone Bigger who may just have other Ideas? And are we willing to assume the risk of being humble listeners to those Ideas?