'There is almost nothing right or wrong which does not alter with a change in climate. A shift of three degrees of latitude is enough to overthrow jurisprudence. One's location on the meridian decides the truth, that or a change in territorial possession. Fundamental laws alter. What is right changes with the times. Strange justice that is bounded by a river or mountain! The truth on this side of the Pyrenees, error on the other.' - Blaise Pascal, Pensees
As law students or law grads, we are trained to think logically, to seek for the justification behind every action or decision. We seek to understand the ratio behind every judicial decision. We intuitively grasp that such decisions should not be arbitrary. We would habitually ask ourselves why the judge did what he did. What was his reasoning that led him to such a conclusion?
In the same way, we comprehend that our actions as persons must not be wholly arbitrary as well. There must usually be reasons or justifications behind our actions. It must also be addressed that all our practical reasoning are dependent upon principles. For example, the fact that we do not act upon the impulse of killing is rooted in the principle that life is valuable. Reason cannot operate in vacuo, it needs to be based on principles. One's practical reasoning would be empty if it is without principles. And our principles are formulated by religious, moral and cultural factors. Surely, there would be a diversity of principles, for cultural, religious and moral standards differ. This raises the possibility of having contradictory principles. How then would we judge between these principles? Upon which set of principles should our decision-making process take into account?
If all these principles are subjective and there is no Truth in these principles per se, then I can see no reason (unless there is a logical error) in criticising the reasoning of those of whom we do not agree with. But why then do we reject the reasoning of a terrorist in his efforts to bomb up a building? If all principles are subjective principles, why do we intuitively reject the reasoning of a suicide bomber? Perhaps, this may imply that there are such things as objective and universal principles. Granted, it would be controversial as “to what those principles are, but this does not mean that there is no objectivity in it.
As Christians we have found this objectivity, and He is not an abstract, but a person. His name is Jesus Christ. This we see clearly in the first words of the Gospel of St John: 'In the beginning was the Word...' This Word is that Logos, that Reason that upholds the universe. Only in Him (consciously or subconsciously) can we distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning. He is the ultimate reference point. And in Him should our reason rest, in Him should we put our trust. It is our faith in Christ that saves us from the fallibility of our minds and the uncertainty that follows. Christ is not only the bulwark against the storms that occur in the material world, He serves also our defence against the storms of our minds. In this Truth, in Christ Jesus, our minds are set free.