Faith Vs. Reason

A brief philosophical work on faith and reason. How both play a part in the other as we exercise the faculty of the will, choice.

Faith vs. Reason or Faith vs. Science or Emotion vs. Reason We often arrive at junctures in which someone or something asks us to supply a reason for an action.  The two answers we most often fall back on are either faith or reason.  Either I just ‘feel’ it or I have a reason ‘x’ for it.  Either way it is crucial to look at the issue as supplying a simple justification.

For instance: If the subject S, claims x by reason y, then y is the justification for S claiming x.  Such that, S can be asked to reasonably support y. In such a case: S justifies y by reason z.  A process of justification that can theoretically go on ad infinitum.  Leaving S’s claim to x justified via y, z, n... In order to prevent the infinite regress of justifications we as finite beings who are incapable of infinitude must make some eventual claim of which no justification is offered.  This is a faith based claim. 

It explicitly refuses proof of justification.  When faith is invoked we are in actuality saying “I have a justification ‘x’ for which I want no further questioning of my justification.” The issue at hand is a long debated topic of philosophy most often known as reason vs. emotion.  The philosophers of old lived in patriarchal states, so some of their chauvinism might be worth a form of ‘forgiveness.’  The point being that for so long reason was raised above emotions. Reason was made masculine and emotion made feminine.  Perhaps it is true that the sexes have ‘tendencies’ toward this generalization.  Either way, reason claimed its superiority.

Yet, as displayed above without an infinite regress and therefore a infinite being.  Reason is eventually doomed to claim based on emotion/faith rather then reasoned justifications. This means that at some point every ‘reasoned’ argument falls prey to ‘faith’ based ‘reasoning’  in which a claim is made and insisted that it not be judged.  Without justification we are using emotion or faith.  This is not bad, it is natural. What is bad is the weight and support given to ‘reasoned’ arguments simply because they are ‘scientific.’  All claims must be understood in-so-far as they necessitate assumptions.

Please do not take this as a reason to further your faith/emotional claims.  This is a plea toward further justifications.  In such a way that it asked even that itself be justified.  Using reason is not an endeavor that ends, it is perpetual.  Using reason means to justify everything further, which necessitates a certain amount of doubt.


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Jerrod Nazarian
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Posted on Jun 8, 2010
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Posted on Jun 5, 2010