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Explain Different Views of Faith and Its Relationship to Reason

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Explain different views of faith and its relationship to reason (30)

While we are alive, as believers, our life is a long road where we choose different paths to get us to the right destination; and at the end of the road we will hopefully choose the path, which gets us to the proof of God’s existence. However the faith we use to get us to the end must be meaningful.

Faith is hard to define, before making assumptions we have to be very clear on what we think it is. Faith is very different from knowledge, when we know something for a fact for example 1 + 1 = 2, we don’t question it on being false, this is where faith can be mistaken. But believers do not generally live questioning themselves on their faith, they hold their beliefs of the existence of God as strongly as scientists know the earth is round, with reasons for believing its true.

Faith can be divided into two types, propositional faith and non-propositional faith. Propositional faith is the belief that there is an objective reality to which we give the term God, and that we can make claims about him, which are objectively true. Whereas non-propositional faith is a trust in God, which may be held even, when evidence or experience would seem to point against it. This kind of faith must be based in some personal knowledge of God, and not simply in the acceptance of facts about him.
Propositional faith has certain attributes to our knowledge about the world for example the believers who believe in a God who is all-powerful and who created the world may be seen similar to the Queen of England; we have not personally met her but know of her existence her through the media. However non-propositional faith differs from this, instead of just saying that we know God exists we take it a step further and believe that we have a personal relationship with God, which makes a difference to the way we live our lives and go about living. R.M.Hare came up with ‘blik’, the belief I the light of which the agent interprets experience. Everyone has bliks by which we interpret our experiences in the world, a believer would not count anything against their faith and they will find in every piece of contrary evidence something that would somehow support their belief. They do this because believing in God is a way of life for them; it changes how they interpret the world.

Basil Mitchell uses the parable of the partisan and the stranger to show the concept of non-propositional faith; when the partisan meets the stranger for the first time, puts all his faith in him no matter what the circumstances are. Even though the stranger may look like he is deceiving the partisan, the partisan keeps his faith in him, he has confidence to commit to him. The relationship which he’s established at the beginning with the stranger is enough to continue him belief even when the partisan admits that sometimes the strangers acts where opposite to what he said.

Faith and reason are often thought to be conflicting intellectual approaches. Fideist’s do not believe that faith and reason go together; they believe that believing in God does not need a solid reason behind it, just faith. There is a gap between the evidence and the actual knowledge of God’s existence which the fideist knows, but they take the ‘leap of faith’ because they are so sure of God’s existence and its said that the bigger the leap the bigger the faith. Kierkegaard supports this view, he says that faith is a deeply held conviction; the religious believer is convinced they are right about the existence of God.

Whereas atheists believe that faith and reason are compatible, the reason they do not believe in God is because there is not enough solid evidence of his existence. They think that the belief of the existence of God is not logical, why put their faith into something, which cannot be proved.…...

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