A few weeks ago, I posted a status on my facebook page asking why we think that reason is a reliable method for discovering truth. I realized my mistake a few hours later. I was making for a reason to regard reason as reliable. Whatever response I got might be interesting, but it would be useless as far as justifying reason is concerned because in order to use reason to conclude that reason is reliable, you have to assume that reason is reliable. And assuming what you wish to prove is reasoning in a circle.
That just stumped me, of course. If I can’t use reason to justify reason, how can I believe, as I do, that reason should be used in discovering truth? How can I believe something for which I have no justification? The obvious answer is that there has to be some way of justifying a reasonable approach that does not beg the question or the question I’m asking makes no sense.
We could posit the hypothesis, “reason is a reliable method for discovering truth” and then proceed to test it. But that would be using reason and assuming that the method is reliable.
What do you think? How would you justify using reason to discover truth? Don’t give me reasons! 😀