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Reason & Faith

March 29th, 2009

PZ Myers at Pharyngula claims that this is not one of those fake church signs, but is a real one from Arkansas:


Naturally, this is not the opinion of all believers, but it does point to a common failing among the faithful: to always see faith as trumping reason. As I see it, faith applies where reason cannot; it’s a fallback. Perhaps I am to be blamed for seeing reason as trumping faith, but that’s just me. If I were the type to believe in the motivation of a god for giving us certain qualities, then I would say that god gave us reason for a good reason–not to dump it and believe anything that someone tells you because they say they represent god.

A lot of people talk about faith as being important, and perhaps where it gives you emotional support I can see the value. But generally speaking, faith means believing without facts. If it’s a matter of trusting those you love when you have no rational way of knowing whether that trust is well-placed or not or making the decision to take a new career path where you could fail or succeed in equal measure, in places where reason has taken you as far as it can and cannot take you any farther, I can see faith as meaningful.

But where reason can give you important indicators as to the wisdom of a decision but faith tells you otherwise, I really have never seen the value in trusting faith and abandoning reason.

Am I wrong?

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  1. March 30th, 2009 at 00:38 | #1

    Actually, this could be a specific reference to Eliza Dushku’s BTVS TV character, and her problems dealing with Apple’s computer music recording software.

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