In “Can it be rational to have faith?”, it was argued that to have faith in some proposition consists, roughly speaking, in stopping one’s search for evidence and committing to act on that proposition without further evidence. That paper also outlined when and why stopping the search for evidence and acting is rationally required. Because the framework of that paper was that of formal decision theory, it primarily considered the relationship between faith and degrees of belief, rather (...) than between faith and belief full stop. This paper explores the relationship between rational faith and justified belief, by considering four prominent proposals about the relationship between belief and degrees of belief, and by examining what follows about faith and belief according to each of these proposals. It is argued that we cannot reach consensus concerning the relationship between faith and belief at present because of the more general epistemological lack of consensus over how belief relates to rationality: in particular, over how belief relates to the degrees of belief it is rational to have given one’s evidence. (shrink)
My concern in this paper is the relationship between faith and rationality. I seek to develop a unified account of statements of faith concerning mundane matters and those concerning religious faith. To do so, I consider the sense in which faith requires going beyond the evidence, and argue that faith requires terminating the search for further evidence. Having established this, I turn to the question of whether it can still be rational to have faith; (...) arguing that, contrary to common assumptions, there need be no conflict between faith and rationality. We shall see that whether faith can be practically rational depends both on whether there are extrinsic costs associated with postponing the decision to have faith and the extent to which potential counter evidence would be conclusive. (shrink)
Belief is a central focus of inquiry in the philosophy of religion and indeed in the field of religion itself. No one conception of belief is central in all these cases, and sometimes the term 'belief' is used where 'faith' or 'acceptance' would better express what is intended. This paper sketches the major concepts in the philosophy of religion that are expressed by these three terms. In doing so, it distinguishes propositional belief (belief that) from both objectual belief (believing (...) something to have a property) and, more importantly, belief in (a trusting attitude that is illustrated by at least many paradigm cases of belief in God). Faith is shown to have a similar complexity, and even propositional faith divides into importantly different categories. Acceptance differs from both belief and faith in that at least one kind of acceptance is behavioral in a way neither of the other two elements is. Acceptance of a proposition, it is argued, does not entail believing it, nor does believing entail acceptance in any distinctive sense of the latter term. In characterizing these three notions (and related ones), the paper provides some basic materials important both for understanding a person's religious position and for appraising its rationality. The nature of religious faith and some of the conditions for its rationality, including some deriving from elements of an ethics of belief, are explored in some detail. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
History and literature provide striking examples of people who are morally admirable, in part, because of their profound faith in people’s decency. But moral philosophers have largely ignored this trait, and I suspect that many philosophers would view such faith with suspicion, dismissing it as a form of naïvete or as some other objectionable form of irrationality. I argue that such suspicion is misplaced, and that having a certain kind of faith in people’s decency, which I call (...)faith in humanity, is a centrally important moral virtue. In order to make this view intuitively more plausible, I discuss two moral exemplars – one historical and the other literary – whose lives vividly exhibit such faith. Then I provide a rationale for the view that having such faith is morally admirable. Finally, I discuss cases in which someone’s faith in humanity can lead her to make judgments that are, to some degree, epistemically irrational. I argue that the existence of such cases does not pose a serious objection to the view that having faith in humanity is a moral virtue. Rather, it makes salient important limits on the role that epistemic, as opposed to practical, rationality should occupy in our ideals of how to live. (shrink)
Why is science so rare and faith so common in human history? Traditional cultures persist because it is subjectively rational for each maturing child to defer to the unanimous beliefs of his elders, regardless of any personal doubts. Science is possible only when individuals promote new theories (which will probably be proven false) and forgo the epistemic advantages of accepting established views (which are more likely to be true). Hence, progressive science progress must rely upon the epistemic altruism of (...) experimental thinkers, while traditions of faith depend on the epistemic self-interest of their followers. (shrink)
Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2013, 6th edition, with an additional section entitled, "Reasons for the Common View," eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is (...) not nearly as informative as we might like. Many people say that there is a more informative answer. They say that, at the very least, propositional faith requires propositional belief. More precisely, they say that faith that p requires belief that p or that it must be partly constituted by belief that p. This view is common enough; call it the Common View. I have two main aims in this paper: (i) to exhibit the falsity of the Common View and the paucity of reasons for it, and (ii) to sketch a more accurate and comprehensive account of what propositional faith is. (shrink)
In this paper I evaluate Zamulinski’s recent attempt to rebut an argument to the conclusion that having any kind of religious faith violates a moral duty. I agree with Zamulinski that the argument is unsound, but I disagree on where it goes wrong. I criticize Zamulinski’s alternative construal of Christian faith as existential commitment to fundamental assumptions. It does not follow that we should accept the moral argument against religious faith, for at least two reasons. First, Zamulinski’s (...) Cliffordian ethics of belief is defective in several regards. Second, the truth of doxastic involuntarism and the possibility of doxastic excuse conditions can be used to demonstrate that the argument is unconvincing. (shrink)
This paper critically examines what I call the ‘testing theodicy,’ the widely held idea that natural evil exists in order to test our faith in God. This theodicy appears numerous times in the scriptures of all three Abrahamic faiths. After examining some of these scriptural passages, we will argue that in light of these texts, the notion of faith is best understood as some type of commitment such as trust, loyalty or piety, rather than as merely a (...) belief in God’s existence. After carefully showing the form this theodicy must take, I argue that the testing theodicy suffers from serious difficulties and fails to adequately account for the existence of natural evil. (shrink)
This paper assesses J. L. Schellenberg’s account of propositional faith and, in light of that assessment, sketches an alternative that avoids certain objections and coheres better with Schellenberg’s aims.
Richard Swinburne argues that belief is a necessary but not sufficient condition for faith, and he also argues that, while faith is voluntary, belief is involuntary. This essay is concerned with the tension arising from the involuntary aspect of faith, the Christian doctrine that human beings have an obligation to exercise faith, and the moral claim that people are only responsible for actions where they have the ability to do otherwise. Put more concisely, the problem concerns (...) the coherence of the following claims: (1) one cannot have faith, (2) one has an obligation to have faith, and (3) ought implies can. To solve this dilemma, I offer three solutions that I believe have the philosophical resources to demonstrate the consistency of these claims. Thus, I defend the claim that it is logically possible for a person to be culpable for an involuntary failure to have faith in God. (shrink)
This essay attempts to lay out the three principal theses of Jacques Derrida’s 1994-1995 “Faith and Knowledge,‘ Derrida’s most sustained but also most challenging work on the nature of religion and the relationship between religion and science. After demonstrating through these three theses that religion and science not only share a common source-or have a common genesis-but are in what Derrida calls an autoimmune relationship to one another, the essay puts these theses to the test by reading a brief (...) passage near the middle of the essay where Derrida recounts the genesis of “Faith and Knowledge‘ itself Derrida’s seemingly anecdotal recounting of this genesis is thus shown to reflect the three theses of “Faith and Knowledge,‘ the way in which, in a word, the breath of creation, or the miracle of religion, is always doubled, supplemented, and thus contaminated by the machine of science and tele-technology. (shrink)
This collection of essays is dedicated to William Rowe, with great affection, respect, and admiration. The philosophy of religion, once considered a deviation from an otherwise analytically rigorous discipline, has flourished over the past two decades. This collection of new essays by twelve distinguished philosophers of religion explores three broad themes: religious attitudes of faith, belief, acceptance, and love; human and divine freedom; and the rationality of religious belief. Contributors include: William Alston, Robert Audi, Jan Cover, Martin Curd, Peter (...) van Inwagen, Norman Kretzmann, George Nakhnikian, John Hawthorne, Philip Quinn, James Ross, Eleonore Stump, and William Wainwright. (shrink)
The article begins at the intellectual fissure between many statements coming from neuroscience and the language of faith and theology. First I show that some conclusions drawn from neuroscientific research are not as firm as they seem: neuroscientific data leave room for the interpretation that mind matters. I then take a philosophical-theological look at the notions of soul, self, and freedom, also in the light of modern scientific research (self-organization, neuronal networks), and present a view in which these theologically (...) important notions are seen in relation both to matter (brain) and to God. I show that religious insights expressed with soul and free will bear a remarkable resemblance to certain insights from neuroscience and the science of complex, self-organizing systems, including emphasis on corporeality and emphasis on organization as a form of that corporeality, and that they also show an interesting parallel --- albeit described in different terms --- concerning the crucial role of a valuation principle that generates attraction. With that, the common-sense idea that freedom simply is the same as indeterminism is refuted: freedom primarily means self-determination. I bring to the fore that the self is not a static thing but a “longing.‘ Such longing springs from something, and it is the relationship to this source that constitutes the self. The main concern is to point out the crucial role of attraction with respect to being and to life, and to draw attention not only to the astonishing parallel on this point between Thomas Aquinas and Alfred North Whitehead but also to a surprising --- albeit more implicit --- analogy between these philosophical-theological views and scientific theories of self-organization (such as those concerning neuronal networks). In short, being attracted toward what appears as “good‘ is what constitutes us as selves and what thereby signifies the primary meaning of our freedom. (shrink)
Initial sketch of a concept of faith -- Facets of faith -- Faith and knowledge -- Faith and scientific knowledge -- Faith and morality -- Secular forms of faith -- Crises of faith -- My personal journey of faith.
Nothingness , is his use of extended narrative vignettes that immediately resound with the reader’s own experience yet are intended to illustrate, perhaps also to support, complex and controversial theoretical claims about the structures of conscious experience and the shape of the human condition. Among the best known of these are his description of Parisian café waiters, who somehow contrive to caricature themselves, and his analysis of feeling shame upon being caught spying through a keyhole. There is some disagreement among (...) commentators on Sartre’s philosophy, however, over precisely what these two examples are intended to convey and over how they relate to one another. The waiter is usually taken to provide an example of bad faith, on grounds that he is taking himself to have a fixed nature that determines his actions, but this reading has recently been challenged. The description of shame is usually understood as an account of the revelation of the existence of another mind and as at the root of the conflictual basis of interpersonal relationships, though commentators are divided over just how this revelation is supposed to work and why it is supposed to lead to conflict. (shrink)
Trust within a secular or organizational context is much like the concept of faith within a religious framework. The purpose of this article is to identify parallels between trust and faith, particularly from the individual perspective of the person who perceives a duty owed to him or her. Betrayal is often a subjectively derived construct based upon each individual's subjective mediating lens. We analyze the nature of trust and betrayal and offer insights that a wise believer might use (...) in understanding his or her relationship with the divine. We suggest that the parallels between trust and faith involve a willingness to relinquish one's power or control in the expectant hope that our needs will be met. Betrayal, however, is often profoundly misunderstood. (shrink)
Abstract In his discourses on ‘the lily of the field and the bird of the air,’ Kierkegaard presents faith as the best possible response to our precarious and uncertain condition, and as the ideal way to cope with the insecurities and concerns that his readers will recognize as common features of human existence. Reading these discourses together, we are introduced to the portrait of a potential believer who, like the ‘divinely appointed teachers’—the lily and the bird—succeeds in leading a (...) life that is full of care, but free of worry. Such a portrait, we claim, echoes Kierkegaard’s portrait of the knight of faith in Fear and Trembling . In this essay we suggest that faith, as characterized in the ‘lily and bird’ discourses, is a kind of existential trust that would allow us to overcome worry, while remaining wholeheartedly engaged in the finite realm of our cares and concerns. We claim that Kierkegaard’s goal in these discourses is not to belittle our earthly cares, but to invite us to develop a modified attitude toward all that we are susceptible to worry about. Content Type Journal Article Category Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11153-011-9322-5 Authors Sharon Krishek, Department of Philosophy, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel Rick Anthony Furtak, Department of Philosophy, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO, USA Journal International Journal for Philosophy of Religion Online ISSN 1572-8684 Print ISSN 0020-7047. (shrink)
Faith and Criticism addresses a central problem in the church today--the tension between traditionalists and progressives. Traditionalists want above all to hold fast to traditional foundations in belief and ensure that nothing of value is lost, even at the risk of a clash with "modern knowledge." Progressives are concerned above all to proclaim a faith that is credible today, even at the risk of sacrificing some elements of traditional doctrine. They are often locked in uncomprehending conflict. Basil Mitchell (...) argues that, not only in theology but in any other serious intellectual pursuit, faith and criticism are interdependent. A tradition which is not open to criticism will eventually ossify; and without faith in some established tradition criticism has nothing to fasten upon. This interdependence of faith and criticism has implications for society at large. Religious education can be Christian without ceasing to be critical, and a liberal society can espouse Christian values. (shrink)
In Part One Paul Helm provides a general discussion of these themes, seeking both to contextualize the debate and to engage with contemporary philosophical discussion of the relation between faith, reason and understanding. Part Two contains five case studies that illustrate the work of seminal figures in the tradition. They include treatments of Augustine on time and creation, Anselm on the ontological argument and the necessity of the atonement, Jonathan Edwards on the nature of personal identity and John Calvin (...) and the ’sensus divinitatis’, focusing on the way in which Calvin has been appealed to by contemporary reformed epistemology. (shrink)
Freud's account of repression retains vestiges of the Cartesian model of the mind. Sartre's argument against Freud is essentially an objection to this Cartesian aspect, which Sartre's own theory of bad faith dispenses with.
At one time or another, most Contemporary Continental philosophers of religion make reference to Nietzsche’s announcement that “God is dead.” However, their interpretation and treatment of that announcement owes nothing to Nietzsche. Instead, they see the death of God as Hegel did, as a moment in a transition to a new way of talking and thinking about God or the Absolute. Their faith in God or the Absolute is not in doubt in the end. We argue that if one (...) hears and thinks Nietzsche’s word “God is dead”—along with Heidegger’s critique of onto-theo-logy-then faith in the end is in doubt. Any affirmation or profession of faith is questionable; there is no promise that all conflicts will be resolved and that all will be saved and forgiven. Nietzsche’s saying that “God is dead” calls for thinking and questioning; it calls not for faith, but faith in doubt. (shrink)
In Scepticism and Animal Faith, Santayana pursues two projects: the development of a philosophy of animal faith and the presentation of an ontology. The two projects are not easily reconciled and Santayana appears not to have distinguished them or recognized that they pull in different directions. The hypothesis that he has two projects explains a variety of the anomalous features of Santayana's philosophy, including the account of matter concerning which Kerr-Lawson and I have long disagreed.
I begin by comparing the question of what constitutes continuity of Personal Identity Online (PIO), to the traditional question of whether personal identity is constituted by psychological or physical continuity, bringing out the compelling but, I aim to show, ultimately misleading reasons for thinking only psychological continuity has application to PIO. After introducing and defending J.J. Valberg’s horizonal conception of consciousness, I show how it deepens our understanding of psychological and physical continuity accounts of personal identity, while revealing their shortcomings. (...) I then argue that PIO must also be understood against the backdrop of the horizonal conception, that this undermines sharp dichotomies between online and offline identity, and that although online psychological continuity might become necessary for the preservation of our personal identities, we cannot become our PIOs. Finally, I argue that if PIO is understood solely in terms of psychological continuity, any increasing identification with our PIOs assumes the form of a paradigmatic project of bad faith: a technological reduction of our self-consciousness, rather than the enhancement it should be. (shrink)
The logical treatment of the nature of religious belief (here I will concentrate on belief in Christianity) has been distorted by the acceptance of a false dilemma. On the one hand, many (e.g., Braithwaite, Hare) have placed the significance of religious belief entirely outside the realm of intellectual cognition. According to this view, religious statements do not express factual propositions: they are not made true or false by the ways things are. Religious belief consists in a certain attitude toward the (...) world, life, or other human beings, or in what sorts of things one values. On the other hand, others (such as Swinburne, 1981, Chapers 1 and 4) have taken religious belief to include (at least) being certain of the truth of particular factual religious propositions. The strength of a person's religious belief is identified with his degree of confidence in the truth of those propositions, measured by the "subjective probability" which those propositions have for that person. I propose a third alternative, according to which, (1) contrary to the first view, religious belief does involve a relation to factual religious propositions, such as that God exists, that Jesus was God and man, etc., -- propositions which are made true or false by the way things actually are -- but, (2) contrary to the second view, the strength of religious belief is measured, not by the degree of one's confidence1 in the truth of these propositions, but rather by the way in which the value or desirability to oneself of the various ways the world could be is affected by their including or not including the truth of these religious propositions. Thus, religious belief does consist in what one values or prizes, not in what.. (shrink)
Leibniz was a Lutheran. Yet, upon consideration of certain aspects of his philosophical theology, one might suspect that he was a Lutheran more in name than in intellectual practice. Clearly Leibniz was influenced by the Catholic tradition; this is beyond doubt. However, the extent to which Leibniz was influenced by his own Lutheran tradition—indeed, by Martin Luther himself—has yet to be satisfactorily explored. In this essay, the views of Luther and Leibniz on the non-cognitive component of faith are considered (...) in some detail. According to Luther, the only non-cognitive aspect of faith worth favoring is trust (fiducia), since it is trust in God’s promise of mercy that warrants justification for the sinner. Leibniz, for his part, sides with the Thomistic tradition in emphasizing love (caritas) as the non-cognitive element of faith par excellence. I argue that Leibniz falls into a trap forewarned by Luther himself, even if Leibniz had systematic metaphysical reasons for his disagreement. (shrink)
In this paper I focus on the central role faith plays in the thought of Polanyi and Voegelin. I begin by indicating how both find the modern conception of scientific knowing seriously wanting. What Polanyi terms "objectivism" and Voegelin calls "scientism" is the modern tendency to reduce knowledge to only that which can be scientifically demonstrated. This errant view of knowledge does not occur in a vacuum, though, and both men draw a connection between this and the political pathologies (...) of the twentieth century. I then show the complementary ways in which these two thinkers believe recovery is possible: an epistemological solution encompassed in Polanyi's personal knowledge and an ontological reorientation that is the core of Voegelin's insistence that we must recover an awareness of human participation in transcendent reality. (shrink)
The development of electronic agents that increasingly play an active role in the contract formation and execution process has highlighted the need for the creation of law-abiding autonomous agent systems. The principle of good faith is an important guideline for contractual behaviour which permeates civil law systems. This paper examines how this principle is applied both during the negotiation of a contract and during its performance. Selected examples from civil law literature of precontractual duties of good faith, and (...) of precontractual behaviour that is deemed to be contrary to good faith, are discussed. This is followed by a discussion of the extent to which such duties are recognised, or such behaviour proscribed, in common law jurisdictions. Some common standards for precontractual behaviour in civil and common law systems are identified. There is then a parallel analysis of the principle of good faith in contract performance with a view to identifying common traits or standards between civil and common law systems. These standards, in the situation where contracts are being negotiated and/or performed by or through electronic agents, would need to be reflected in the way such agents operate. (shrink)
This book stands in the tradition of philosophers who advance the rationality of faith. Yet, this book goes beyond their accounts, for it not only defends the view that faith can be termed rational, but it also considers the different senses in which faith can be termed rational. While this book advances the idea that faith as a general category can be termed rational, it does not investigate in a detailed way whether there are arguments for (...) the rationality of particular faiths which would go beyond the arguments for the rationality of faith as a general category. Besides discussing whether betting on God in Pascal’s wager and believing in miracles are forms of the rationality of faith, I will provide unique solutions to the problem of evil and the paradoxes of omnipotence and omniscience. (publisher). (shrink)
Workplace spirituality research has side-stepped religion by focusing on the function of belief rather than its substance. Although establishing a unified foundation for research, the functional approach cannot shed light on issues of workplace pluralism, individual or institutional faith-work integration, or the institutional roles of religion in economic activity. To remedy this, we revisit definitions of spirituality and argue for the place of a belief-based approach to workplace religion. Additionally, we describe the construction of a 15-item measure of workplace (...) religion informed by Judaism and Christianity – the Faith at Work Scale (FWS). A stratified random sample (n = 234) of managers and professionals assisted in refining the FWS which exhibits a single factor structure (Eigenvalue = 8.88; variance accounted for = 59.22%) that is internally consistent (Cronbach's α = 0.77) and demonstrates convergent validity with the Faith Maturity Scale (r = 0.81, p> 0.0001). The scale shows lower skew and kurtosis with Mainline and Catholic adherents than with Mormons and Evangelicals. Validation of the scale among Jewish and diverse Christian adherants would extend research in workplace religion. (shrink)
This paper considers a distinction between two types of politics developed by Michael Oakeshott in his book The Politics of Faith and the Politics of Scepticism (1996) and argues that the theoretical framework proposed supplies an illuminating and productive perspective for examining the notion of political extremism. These positions are linked to two other important aspects of his work, namely his account of 'enterprise' and 'civil' association and his differentiation between abstract philosophical entities and concrete political situations. There is (...) also a discussion of the idea of 'perfectionism' which is central to the politics offaith. The paper concludes with a consideration of some of the implications for political education arising from this analysis. (shrink)
Gallup surveys consistently show that nine in 10 Americans express a belief in God (Nash, Business, religion, and spirituality: A new synthesis, 2003 ), while more than 45 % claim to have some awareness of God on the job (Nash and McLellan, Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenges of Fusing Christian Values with Business Life, 2001 ). Recently, Lynn et al. (Journal of Business Ethics 85:227–243, 2009 ) argued that the ability to integrate the specific beliefs and practices (...) of one’s faith with the work one does represent an important although neglected area of research. As such, they developed and demonstrated convergent validity for the faith at work scale, designed to measure the extent to which individuals believe they are able to integrate their Judaeo-Christian beliefs and practices and their work. In a subsequent study, Lynn et al. (Human Relations 64:675–701, 2010 ) demonstrated that the faith at work scale was related to faith maturity, church attendance, age, and denominational strictness, and negatively associated with organizational size. No research, however, has examined the possible positive benefits of integrating faith and work. I therefore developed and tested hypotheses concerning the relationship between the faith at work scale and seven important life and work outcomes (satisfaction with life, intent to leave one’s job, self-rated job performance, job satisfaction, and three forms of organizational commitment). In all, four of seven hypotheses were confirmed. (shrink)
In his major work on love, Works of Love, Kierkegaard clearly and robustly affirms the moral superiority of neighbourly love, and approves preferential love on one condition: that it serve as an instance of neighbourly love. But can an essentially preferential love be an instance of the essentially non-preferential neighbourly love? John Lippitt seems to think it can. In his paper “Kierkegaard and the problem of special relationships: Ferreira, Krishek, and the ‘God filter”’ he defends Kierkegaard’s position in Works of (...) Love against my criticism (as presented in my book Kierkegaard on Faith and Love); specifically, against my claim that in using Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love as a framework for understanding preferential love, one fails to account for the latter’s distinctive character. Lippitt claims that I misinterpret Kierkegaard’s position and, using what he calls ‘the God filter’, he attempts to show how adhering to Kierkegaard’s view of neighbourly love allows one to sustain the distinctiveness (and value) of preferential love. In what follows I will defend my interpretation of Kierkegaard’s position and explain why I take the view he presents in Works of Love to be problematic. Furthermore, in my aforementioned book I offer a Kierkegaardian model of love that does precisely what Lippitt seeks his ‘God filter’ model to do: namely, preserve the distinctiveness of preferential love while allowing its possible coexistence with neighbourly love. Thus, against the background of Lippitt’s criticism I will demonstrate this model again, in hope of clarifying the advantages this view offers. (shrink)
Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems and world view that relate humanity to spirituality and sometimes also with moral values. It may be said that it is a belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. Many religions have narratives, symbols and sacred history and traditions that are intended to give a meaning of life or to explain the origin of the life and the universe. They tend (...) to drive morality, ethics, faith and religious laws and or preferred a lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. But in the present world religious faiths are treated like a brand. The process of branding involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. In a society overrun by commercial clutter, religion has become yet another product sold in the consumer marketplace, and faiths of all kinds must compete with a myriad of more entertaining and more convenient leisure activities. (shrink)
The book re-examines some notable pre-modern accounts of the relation of passion, reason and faith, and from there goes on to overturn the widely-held presumption that it was the Enlightenment that was responsible for creating a gulf ...
This article deals with two types of Christian faith in the light of the challenges posed by the ethics of belief. It is proposed that the difficulties with Clifford's formulation of that ethic can best be handled if the ethic is interpreted in terms of role-specific intellectual integrity. But the ethic still poses issues for the traditional interpretation of Christian faith when it is conceived as a series of discrete but related propositions, especially historical propositions. For as so (...) conceived, the believer makes claims that fall within the province of an intellectual discipline, history, that requires evidence and rules of procedure for the adjudication of such claims. It is noteworthy how few Christian theologians and philosophers of religion deal with the issue in these terms. Alvin Plantinga is a noteworthy exception and his views are examined and criticized because, among other things, his conclusion is that any believer without having any training in biblical languages or historical studies can know that the New Testament narratives are true. The article then considers a second conception of Christian faith in which this conflict does not arise. One finds it in the works of Schleiermacher, Wittgenstein, and, surprisingly, in the conception of faith found in the early writings of Karl Barth. (shrink)
In this book, renowned philosopher Anthony Kenny focuses on one of the central questions in the philosophy of religion: is the belief in God and faith in the divine word rational? Surveying what has been said on the topic by such major recent thinkers as Wittgenstein and Platinga, Kenny contructs his own account of what he calls "the intellectual virtue of reasonable belief which stands between skepticism and credulity," which he then applies to the Christian doctrine of faith. (...) Kenny also addresses related questions such as the existence and nature of God and the problem of evil in a world created by an omnipotent being. A fascinating exploration of a subject presented in clear, accessible language, What is Faith? is essential reading for anyone who hopes to understand a debate that has now raged for two thousand years. (shrink)
Shestov's work can be summed up under six headings. Three are sharp contrasts, three are paradoxes. (1) First there is the contrast between Shestov the person, who was moderate, competent, and calm, and Shestov the thinker, who was extreme, incandescent, and impassioned. (2) Then there is the contrast between his critique of reason, his acceptance of irrationalism, and the means by which he attacks the former and defends the latter: namely, careful rational argument. Sometimes he argues like a lawyer (after (...) all, he had a law degree from Moscow University). (3) Shestov speaks repeatedly of the "horrors and atrocities of human existence." But his examples are always drawn from history or literature, never from his own life, although we know that he experienced much horror. (4) Nietzsche is the thinker whom he invokes most frequently, and most warmly. Yet, paradoxically, Shestov completely ignores most of Nietzsche's central themes. (5) Shestov's skeptical doubts are mostly directed at rationalism; he is not skeptical about the existence or benevolence of God. Yet he is explicitly skeptical about divine omniscience and implicitly skeptical about divine omnipotence in a metaphysical sense, though not in its ethical application. (6) Shestov has a deep faith that God can undo all the horrors of life, putting an end to all suffering. At the same time he knows that this will not, and cannot, happen, since the very idea of undoing the past, erasing its horrors, is conceptually incoherent. (shrink)
Mystic-activists; an introduction -- The just shall live by faith -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer; "the view from below" -- A worldview from the margins -- Malcolm X; "recognizing every human being as a human being" -- An identity rooted in humanity -- Aung San Suu Kyi; "a revolution of the spirit" -- The ethics of revolution -- A lived faith.
Much of the political and public debate about faith-based schooling is conducted at the level of generalised assertion and counterassertion, with little reference to educational scholarship or research. There is a tendency in these debates to draw upon historical images of faith schooling (idealised and critical); to use ideological advocacy (both for and against) and to deploy strong claims about the effects of faith-based schooling upon personal and intellectual autonomy and the wider consequences of such schooling for (...) social harmony, race relations and the common good of society. This paper will attempt to review some of these controversies in the light of recent educational and research studies. Particular attention will be given to research investigations of Catholic schooling systems in various cultural and political contexts, studies which are largely unknown outside the Catholic community. In addition to reviewing educational studies of faith-based schooling, the paper will offer critical appraisal of the main arguments in the debate and it will also outline a possible research agenda for future inquiry in this sector of educational studies. (shrink)
This paper attempts to analyze the place that Christianity occupies within the framework of Martin Buber’s thought and to present some of the arguments brought by Buber in order to support his conception regarding Christianity. There is a great number of books, articles and studies belonging to Buber that touch, on different levels, the topic proposed, nevertheless, the most significant for this paper is Buber’s book Two types of faith, intended as a comparative analysis of Judaism and Christianity. Buber’s (...) perception on Christianity is characterized by the dualistic perspective that defines his whole philosophy. The two paradigms that represent the basis of Buber’s entire thought (the world of Thou and the world of It) are to be found at the basis of “the duality of faith” he postulates. Thus, the analysis will be carried on two different levels, which, however sometimes share common elements. (shrink)
Faith and Reason displays in historical perspective some of the rich dialogue between religion and philosophy over two millennia, beginning with Greek reflections about God and the gods and ending with twentieth-century debate about faith in a world which tends to reserve its reverence for science. Paul Helm uses as a case study the question of whether the world is eternal or whether it was created out of nothing, following this theme from Plato through medieval thought to modern (...) scientific speculation about the beginnings of the universe. This Oxford Reader also includes discussion of many other fundamental issues raised by the juxtaposition of faith and reason, including arguments for and against the existence of God, the relationship between religion and ethics, the contrast between reason and revelation as sources of knowledge, and the implications of religious belief for freedom of the will. (shrink)