Abstract
Doxastic attitudes are those propositional attitudes that are equivalent to, or entail, belief. Discussions of faith, particularly its rationality, generally presume that it is doxastic. There are, however, numerous nondoxastic attitudes; why presume that faith is doxastic? Instead of belief, can faith be analyzed in terms of nondoxastic attitudes? Does faith that God exists always entail a belief that God exists? Hope is one example of a nondoxastic attitude. If one has hope that God exists, does that mean that one has faith that God exists? Acceptance is another nondoxastic attitude. Is accepting the tenets of a religion sufficient to make one a person of faith? It has also been suggested that the attitude of faith is a distinct, irreducible, nondoxastic attitude. What implications does this approach to faith have for the evaluation of faith? In what follows, it will be argued that faith can be analyzed in terms of nondoxastic attitudes; faith that God exists need not entail a belief that God exists. All three of the aforementioned nondoxastic attitudes are viable approaches to faith. Furthermore, it will be argued that a distinct nondoxastic approach to faith is preferable for its benefits. These include, an important volitional component, important differences in its grounds for rationality, and recognition of an attitudinal component in faith.
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