Religious folk have a tendency to pit “scripture” against “reason”, as though they were somehow practically distinct objects.
Most people can understand that scripture starts as lifeless words on a piece of paper, and goes through the human’s reasoning to become meaningful, life-giving ideas.
But religious people have a strange version of reality that magically allows them to separate “reason” from “scripture”. How does this even work? Since they don’t seem to have any meaningful explanation, I shall call it “magic”.
The fact that their argument relies on this kind of “magic”, is a warning sign that their epistemological framework is built on an unsound foundation.
To use a concrete metaphor: when we look at something, for the image to register on your retina, it has to go through a lens (in your eye, spectacles, etc.). Reason is the lens. If you throw reason away, there is no way the light can even reach your retina to form any meaningful / coherent image.
The only way to claim that you can see anything meaningful without “reason”, is for the image (idea) to have been pre-conceived in your own mind, instead of an image actually passing through your eye.
To further illustrate the practical problems, let’s consider the concept of “obedience”.
Obedience involves right action. Right action is governed by decisions. Decisions are produced by a logical reasoning process.
Does the bible dictate exactly what we are to do? No. How do you produce actionable decisions beginning with mere words on a page? Reason.
Even if scripture is 100% faultless, if there’s a fault in the reasoning process, scripture-based right action is impossible.
Problems with the “God is an effective communicator” argument. Firstly, a reasonable outline of what the theory entails:
(A) There is some information God wants to communicate to people.
(B) God will communicate that information clearly enough for his people to understand.
These fairly reasonable points can be granted by most reasonable people, me included.
A crucial problem occurs when people mistakenly assume these two points:
(a) That some specific idea / doctrine is precisely what God wants to communicate.
(b) That I am one of God’s chosen people™, hence the doctrine has been clearly communicated to me.
The problem is, neither of these assumptions can be proven. Hence the religious fundamentalist’s epistemological framework is unsound.
Such a mindset causes religious fundies to pretend that they have clearly heard precisely what God wants to communicate to his people. Then they stop listening to anything that sounds different from their religious dogma. Then jihad.