The one I found that comes closest is from Volume 40, it states, "Let this be our answer to the arguments and reasons that Dr. Karlstadt presents for his dream from Scripture. They were threefold. First, a capital letter is found in some books, not all. Second, there was a punctuation mark. Third, the dear touto. What wonderful arguments, which no one would use except such heavenly prophets, who hear the voice of God. A fourth now is, that he cannot present a single verse of Scripture in his favor. This is the most damaging argument and will forever remain so. I shall not overthrow it but will rather strengthen it. Furthermore he teaches us what Frau Hulda*, natural reason, has to say in the matter, just as if we did not know that reason is the devil’s prostitute and can do nothing else but slander and dishonor what God does and says. But before we answer this arch-prostitute and devil’s bride, we first want to prove our faith, not by setting forth capitals or periods or touto tauta but by clear, sober passages from Scripture which the devil will not overthrow."
* The editor's footnote reads, "In Germanic mythology, Frau Hulda is the name of the leader of a group of elfin creatures who were looked upon as the instigators of good and evil among men. Like them Frau Hulda is of a capricious nature, now friendly, now hostile especially in times when disorder arises among men. She may therefore be regarded as a personification of order and clever reasoning. However, in matters of faith Luther looked upon reason as seductive, hence as 'the devil’s prostitute.'"
That same bit of rhetoric was also referenced at least as early as 1928 by Jacques Maritain in Three Reformers, and can be found referenced in many other places. I confess I have not read the Erlangen Edition myself, but I do like to make sure there is very little chance that a quote is false before I use it.
I have made mistakes, and I hope that this isn't another one, but I do have reason to believe that it isn't.
I am quoting from Jaroslav Pelikan's edition, which is the standard English work used in most universities. Do you know what works are covered in Erlangen's Edition volume 16? The work I cited was "Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments."
I am interested in finding out the exact quote, because there is debate on whether Luther believed in fideism or not. I have read a far share of Luther and would contend he isn't against reason. He was very skeptical about the medieval scholastic tradition, however. Combined with his extreme bluntness, one could find some select quotes that could be misleading.
Calvin, on the other hand, was much more precise, and his writings on the relationship between faith and reason are fascinating.
My personal knowledge of this subject is actually very lacking and I'm sure that yours is much better. I'll be honest I was just looking through random quotes online when I found it, I did check up on it to make sure that there was a good basis to believe he actually said what he was supposed to, but I have not read the original writings myself.
I did look through your webpage and you seem quite passionate about your atheism. If you would ever be interested in a friendly chat/debate about atheism I would be open to it. I have an interest in religion, philosophy and the relationship between faith and reason.
Thank you again.
I have been running that page for several years now, and I think that I can honestly count the amount of times I have had a truly interesting debate about the subject on one hand.
Not to mention that actually the context is pretty consistent. I mean just take a look at some of the other stuff he's said.
“Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”
—Martin Luther, Works, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148.
“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—more frequently than not—struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”
—Martin Luther, Table Talks in 1569.
“Heretics are not to be disputed with, but to be condemned unheard, and whilst they perish by fire, the faithful ought to pursue the evil to its source, and bathe their heads in the blood of the Catholic bishops, and of the Pope, who is the devil in disguise.”
—Martin Luther, Table Talks (as quoted in Religious History: An Inquiry by M. Searle Bates, p. 156).
But if you insist. First of all, LOOK UP THE CONTEXT YOURSELF. It's not hard. When you have finally managed to actually do some of your own research, you will realise that this is definitely NOT taken out of context, and is without a doubt directed at reason, meaning the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements logically. It certainly had fuck all to do with some random cult that didn't even exist until more than 200 years after he died.
Religion and reason are not incompatible, I think, it is just that religion can be simple and so is a magnet for those looking for a simple explanation. "I don't know? God must have done it!" I have actually gotten into several arguments with fellow believers who seem to want to take this 'easy out' for everything. I am continually depressed by how many people will chalk things up to 'inexplicable, must be god' and then have nothing to say when I successfully explain it.
If legitimate, this quote is something I will add to my list of "retarded statements I wish hadn't come out of a religious person's mouth", along with those remarks a republican candidate made about abortion, everything the WBC has ever said under any circumstances, and other things too numerous to list here.
(P.S.: if it helps establish my credibility, i believe in Natural Selection, am perfectly fine with gay marriage, and wish the Tea Party would stop trying to make religion into a political issue.)
“Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”
To be honest I personally do not believe that reason and religion are completely compatible. For every religion that I have looked at, there has always been at least a few points that cannot be completely accepted with good reason. Simply because there is no reason for those beliefs.
At least its not infested with nasty crotch rot like faith is. That whore may be fancied up and a smooth talker, but damn if it isnt rotten to the core.
"Stick your fingers in your ear and go Lalalalalalalalala"
You a boy? You a girl?
Do I care??
Nah, doesn't matter to me.