Kierkegaard’s Arguments Against Objective Reasoning In Religion

The Monist 60 (2):228-243 (1977)
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Abstract

It is sometimes held that there is something in the nature of religious faith itself that renders it useless or undesirable to reason objectively in support of such faith, even if the reasoning should happen to have considerable plausibility. Søren Kierkegaard’s Concluding Unscientific Postscript is probably the document most commonly cited as representative of this view. In the present essay I shall discuss three arguments for the view. I call them the Approximation Argument, the Postponement Argument, and the Passion Argument; and I suggest they can all be found in the Postscript. I shall try to show that the Approximation Argument is a bad argument. The other two will not be so easily disposed of, however. I believe they show that Kierkegaard’s conclusion, or something like it, does indeed follow from a certain conception of religiousness—a conception which has some appeal, although for reasons which I shall briefly suggest, I am not prepared to accept it.

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Citations of this work

Can it be Rational to have Faith?Lara Buchak - 2012 - In Jake Chandler & Victoria S. Harrison (eds.), Probability in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 225.
Resolving to Believe: Kierkegaard’s Direct Doxastic Voluntarism.Z. Quanbeck - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Kierkegaard on belief and credence.Z. Quanbeck - 2024 - European Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):394-412.

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