[FoRK] "faith" vs. critical rationalism Re: Philosophy, for whoever needs it
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
drernie at radicalcentrism.org
Tue Jun 24 14:38:46 PDT 2008
Thanks for the elaboration, it is quite helpful. But...
On Jun 24, 2008, at 8:01 AM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> My rejection of "divinity" as a subject of rational inquiry is not a
> statement of belief or disbelief, of certainty or probability. It
> is a statement about the unsuitability of that topic for rational
> inquiry, consideration, or discussion --- by definition of
> rationality, under critical rationalism. I am not *willing* to
> believe because I do not recognize the validity of any
> epistemological method that would allow me to acquire and possess
> such belief. Religion insists on faith; faith sets itself outside
> the realm of the rational by definition.
That's where you're losing me. Yes, there *are* certain
epistemologies where "faith" is contrasted with "rational inquiry."
But, even within fideism, some see faith and reason as complementary,
rather than antagonistic.
I wonder what definition of "faith" you are using that makes it
*necessarily* antagonistic. For example, I can have "faith" (or
a) human beings evolved from unicellular organisms via a process
involving natural selection
b) there exists a singular unifything Theory of Everything that can
characterize all observable physical phenomena
c) the United States exists in its present form largely due to the
courage, intelligence and character of a hisorical person named George
d) societies built around respect for the individual maximize total
happiness better than any of the alternatives
Those propositions -- which guide the actions of many scientists and
politicians -- could certainly be characterized as acts of "faith",
but aren't (necessarily) "religious" or "outside the realm of rational
inquiry." Are they?
If not, then you can perhaps guess my follow-up question; but I'll
save that for another post...
-- Ernie P.
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