Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Reason and Faith

I recently participated in a congenial discussion about faith and reason at Happy Feminist's Blog. Such an interesting topic! I didn't want to overload her site with my thoughts, so I'm posting here instead.

I believe that faith and reason are FULLY compatible. They both have their place. I may reason scientifically about the natural world, for instance. But when it comes to things like the origins of life, the meaning of life, the existence of a moral sensibility, the existence of love, whether there is life after death...these things lay outside of the realm of empirical science. Therefore, I must hold a "faith perspective" on these issues. Everyone does, whatever their religious or philosophical pursuasion.

Faith is "the ASSURANCE of things hoped for, the CONVICTION of things not seen." The key question becomes: is my "faith perspective" supported by or undermined by reason? If I'm going to put the most important elements of my life on the line for a "faith perspective"...does it make sense, so that I can have reasonable assurance and conviction that my faith rings true?

Here are a few quotes from a good article about faith written from the biblical perspective:

So, when someone asks me the question, Are faith and science compatible?, I'm going to immediately ask for a clarification. What do you mean by faith? If you think faith is mere fantasy and science is complete fact, well then, fantasy conflicts with fact, doesn't it? If faith is a blind leap in the dark, if faith has no concern for the facts, you're in trouble.

If, however, your faith is an intelligent trust in what can't be seen that's inferred from evidence that can be seen--if your faith is a commitment to reality, to acting on what you have good reason to believe is true--well then, there doesn't need to be any conflict at all.


Blogger Mrs.B. said...

"Faith is "the ASSURANCE of things hoped for, the CONVICTION of things not seen."\

I like this verse better in the KJB because it says 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'

In my humble opinion 'substance' and 'evidence' more accuately define faith.

I hope you don't see my comment as disrespectful towards you Erin, because I didn't mean for it to be that way. (o:

5:04 PM, May 22, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Mrs. B...not disrespectful at all:o) You could be right about the translations. It would be interesting to do a study on it!

10:08 AM, May 26, 2006  

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