Can it be Rational to have Faith?

In Jacob Chandler & Victoria Harrison (eds.), Probability in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. 225 (2012)
Abstract
This paper provides an account of what it is to have faith in a proposition p, in both religious and mundane contexts. It is argued that faith in p doesn’t require adopting a degree of belief that isn’t supported by one’s evidence but rather it requires terminating one’s search for further evidence and acting on the supposition that p. It is then shown, by responding to a formal result due to I.J. Good, that doing so can be rational in a number of circumstances. If expected utility theory is the correct account of practical rationality, then having faith can be both epistemically and practically rational if the costs associated with gathering further evidence or postponing the decision are high. If a more permissive framework is adopted, then having faith can be rational even when there are no costs associated with gathering further evidence.
Keywords belief  epistemic rationality  evidence  evidence-gathering  expected utility  faith  I.J. Good  practical rationality  rationality
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Citations of this work BETA
Mark Alfano (2013). The Most Agreeable of All Vices: Nietzsche as Virtue Epistemologist. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):767-790.
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