2018-01Forum
Reason and Faith

Abstract:

The claim of this paper is that theism and atheism as beliefs about the nature of the universe are equally distant from any sort of proper justification by reasoning, but that faith cannot be reduced to any sort of belief (although it induces beliefs). This claim is illustrated by a survey of several case-studies, including the case of moral sense (Marc Hauser), the so-called “God gene” (Dean Hammer) and discoveries of Benjamin Libet on “free” movement. The illustrations attempt to show that only some imagerial associations connected with these cases, and respectively with religious beliefs, would make an impression of incoherence, not their actual content. The conclusion of the paper would echo the statements of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who said in his Oxford University Sermons: “Faith is an instrument of knowledge and action, unknown to the world before, a principle sui generis, distinct from those which nature supplies, and independent of what is commonly understood by Reason”. Some implications of this conclusion, such as the notion of the rationality of faith, an account of the relation between science and theology, or the problem of agnosticism, are discussed, too.

Keywords:

theism, atheism, agnosticism, rationality, science and religion, John Henry Newman

How to cite:

Tałasiewicz, Mieszko. “Reason and Faith.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 2, no. 1(3) (2018): 87–95. https://doi.org/10.26319/3919.

Author:

Mieszko Tałasiewicz
Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw

References:

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Griffith-Thomas, William Henry. The Principles of Theology. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2005. Hamer, Dean. The God Gene: How Faith is Hardwired into Our Genes. New York: Doubleday, 2004.

Hauser, Marc. Moral Minds: How Nature Designed a Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. New York: Harper Collins/Ecco, 2006.

John Paul II. Apostolic Letter Dilecti Amici to the Youth of the World, 1985.

John Paul II. Fides et Ratio. (http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_ 14091998_fides-et-ratio.html), 1998.

Libet, Benjamin. Mind Time: The Temporal Factor in Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.

McGrath, Alister E.. Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2005.

Newman, John Henry. Oxford University Sermons. (http://newmanreader.org/works/oxford/index.html), 1871.

Russell, Bertrand. Religion and Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Tałasiewicz, Mieszko. “Science as Theology.” In Logic in Theology, edited by Bartosz Brożek, Adam Olszewski, and Mateusz Hohol, 257-291. Kraków: Copernicus Center Press, 2013.

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