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Faith vs. Reason

The Faith, sculpted in stone from Badajoz in 1...

The Faith

Faith and reason are in conflict. Basically faith is belief based on either inspiration, revelation, or authority or a combination of. Rationality is belief based on reason, logic and  evidence.In a nutshell this is the conflict between theism and atheism and due to this there really are no new arguments and only a rehashing of old worn out ground [possibly said in different words but no new material].

There are three basic views concerning the relationship between faith and reason. We have natural theology which says that one can rationally infer that God exists, through inductive or deductive reasoningFideism which says that faith is necessary, and that beliefs must be held without or in conflict with evidence or reason. And finally there is rationalism which says that truth should be determined by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma, or religious teaching.

Interestingly enough, many Christians [at least those who claim faith is reasonable], directly contradict Church teaching and the bible. The bible, if one can define from it, says that faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

and Martin Luther wrote that

All the articles of our Christian faith, which God has revealed to us in His Word, are in presence of reason sheerly impossible, absurd, and false.

and also

Reason in no way contributes to faith…for reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things.

yet some Christians [many of those Catholic] freely admit that their faith is what they choose to believe in spite of any evidence to the contrary.

I am going to put some of my views about faith. Faith, is in no sense rational, logical or reasonable. If it were, it would be called rational, logic or reason instead of faith. I also find it not only futile to argue faith but unnecessary provided the  one with faith is not trying to push it in any shape or form where it isn’t welcome [that means evangelism, anti-abortion, anti-birth control, mandatory prayer, etc.] so it is obvious I am not just talking about evangelism lest anyone should make that foolish mistake. One belief I hold is that since faith is neither rational, logical or reasonable if someone starts to argue to me that their faith is correct let me allow the words of Ethan Allen to speak for me.

Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principles that they are laboring to dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

In other words, if their argument is neither rational, logical or reasonable, they should expect either silence, laughter or questions that highlight their folly but not an argument since they do not deserve one.

Some further reading you might enjoy

[tweetmeme source=”noreligionblog” only_single=falsehttps://noreligionblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/faith-vs-reason/]



One Response

  1. Excellent post! I learn so much every time I come here.

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