Relationship between faith and reason essay

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relationship between faith and reason essay

Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason by John Paul II

I found this to be a splendid example of the similarity between science and religion: both rest on faith statements and proceed by logical analysis. If you think science does not rest on faith statements, consider Humes Problem of Induction and Popperian Falsification.

Five stars! (I read a .pdf version.)

p. 62. The Church remains profoundly convinced that faith and reason “mutually support each other”; 122 each influences the other, as they offer to each other a purifying critique and a stimulus to pursue the search for deeper understanding.

p. 22. It is the one and the same God who establishes and guarantees the intelligibility and reasonableness of the natural order of things upon which scientists confidently depend,29 and who reveals himself as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Science and religion cannot be in conflict.
p. 50. The content of Revelation can never debase the discoveries and legitimate autonomy of reason.

p. 58. To believe it possible to know a universally valid truth is in no way to encourage intolerance; on the contrary, it is the essential condition for sincere and authentic dialogue between persons.

There is reading list in the last paragraph on p. 46.

p. 2. 3. Men and women have at their disposal an array of resources for generating greater knowledge of truth so that their lives may be ever more human. Among these is philosophy, which is directly concerned with asking the question of lifes meaning and sketching an answer to it.

p. 4. Sundered from that truth, individuals are at the mercy of caprice, and their state as person ends up being judged by pragmatic criteria based essentially upon experimental data, in the mistaken belief that technology must dominate all.

p. 6. This knowledge expresses a truth based upon the very fact of God who reveals himself, a truth which is most certain, since God neither deceives nor wishes to deceive.6

p. 8. For the People of God, therefore, history becomes a path to be followed to the end, so that by the unceasing action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:13) the contents of revealed truth may find their full expression.

p. 8. the Eternal enters time

p. 9. The Council teaches that “the obedience of faith must be given to God who reveals himself”.14 This brief but dense statement points to a fundamental truth of Christianity. Faith is said first to be an obedient response to God.

p. 9. It is not just that freedom is part of the act of faith: it is absolutely required.

p. 11. These considerations prompt a first conclusion: the truth made known to us by Revelation is neither the product nor the consummation of an argument devised by human reason. It appears instead as something gratuitous, which itself stirs thought and seeks acceptance as an expression of love.

p. 14. If human beings with their intelligence fail to recognize God as Creator of all, it is not because they lack the means to do so, but because their free will and their sinfulness place an impediment in the way. . . . . “All mans steps are ordered by the Lord: how then can man understand his own ways?” (Prov 20:24).

p. 16. The crucified Son of God is the historic event upon which every attempt of the mind to construct an adequate explanation of the meaning of existence upon merely human argumentation comes to grief.

the theory that changes in the earths crust during geological history have resulted from the action of continuous and uniform processes.

I would have to say that I am an extreme uniformitarian. It is to geological processes which appear to be operating at they have since creation, but also cosmological, evolutionary, etc. processes. Although this change is continuous, I do not see evidence that human nature has changed over the past 2,000 years.

Our earlier sources are First Thessalonians (c. 50 AD), Galatians (c. 53), First Corinthians (c. 53–54). Unless I believe there is Divine Inspiration, I would not credit sources today written, about events that took place fifteen to twenty years ago, by someone who did not witness them.

Exacerbating my challenge here, still in the absence of Divine Inspiration, our earliest (partial) copy of these sources is Papyrus 46 thought to have been made between 175 CE and 225 CE.

Beating my Doubting Thomas routine to death, how could Paul know, with any confidence, whom it was he met on the road to Damascus? There is no evidence he met Christ during his lifetime. There were no pictures.

Faith based on Divine Inspiration stands on its own. The Resurrection as a historical event . . . . .

p. 17. The Apostle accentuates a truth which the Church has always treasured: in the far reaches of the human heart there is a seed of desire and nostalgia for God.

True! Although I would have put it more that evolutionary psychology has established an adaptive value to religious belief.

p. 19. One may define the human being, therefore, as the one who seeks the truth.

By that measure is President Trump even human?

p. 21. This means that the human being—the one who seeks the truth—is also the one who lives by belief.

See Thomas Reids principal of credulity.

p. 30. In short, what for Patristic and Medieval thought was in both theory and practice a profound unity, producing knowledge capable of reaching the highest forms of speculation, was destroyed by systems which espoused the cause of rational knowledge sundered from faith and meant to take the place of faith.

p. 31. But this does not mean that the link between faith and reason as it now stands does not need to be carefully examined, because each without the other is impoverished and enfeebled. . . . . It is an illusion to think that faith, tied to weak reasoning, might be more penetrating; on the contrary, faith then runs the grave risk of withering into myth or superstition.

p. 33. On the contrary, the Magisteriums interventions are intended above all to prompt, promote and encourage philosophical enquiry.

p. 38. Scripture, therefore, is not the Churchs sole point of reference. The “supreme rule of her faith” 75 derives from the unity which the Spirit has created between Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church in a reciprocity which means that none of the three can survive without the others.76

p. 39. I cannot fail to note with surprise and displeasure that this lack of interest in the study of philosophy is shared by not a few theologians.

p. 42. Although faith, a gift of God, is not based on reason, it can certainly not dispense with it.

p. 44. Insofar as cultures appeal to the values of older traditions, they point— implicitly but authentically—to the manifestation of God in nature, as we saw earlier in considering the Wisdom literature and the teaching of Saint Paul.

p. 45. To reject this heritage would be to deny the providential plan of God who guides his Church down the paths of time and history.

p. 46. Theologys source and starting-point must always be the word of God revealed in history, while its final goal will be an understanding of that word which increases with each passing generation.

p. 49. 78. It should be clear in the light of these reflections why the Magisterium has repeatedly acclaimed the merits of Saint Thomas thought and made him the guide and model for theological studies.

p. 50. And again: “If there is no assent, there is no faith, for without assent one does not really believe”.96

p. 52. This applies equally to the judgements of moral conscience, which Sacred Scripture considers capable of being objectively true. 101

The law of Nature is a law installed by Nature in all living things. -- The Codes of Justinian.

p. 54. The segmentation of knowledge, with its splintered approach to truth and consequent fragmentation of meaning, keeps people today from coming to an interior unity.

p. 55. The first goes by the name of eclecticism, by which is meant the approach of those who, in research, teaching and argumentation, even in theology, tend to use individual ideas drawn from different philosophies, without concern for their internal coherence, their place within a system or their historical context.

p. 55. 87. Eclecticism is an error of method, but lying hidden within it can also be the claims of historicism. To understand a doctrine from the past correctly, it is necessary to set it within its proper historical and cultural context.

p. 56. 88. Another threat to be reckoned with is scientism.

p. 56. 89. No less dangerous is pragmatism, an attitude of mind which, in making its choices, precludes theoretical considerations or judgements based on ethical principles.

p. 57. 90. The positions we have examined lead in turn to a more general conception which appears today as the common framework of many philosophies which have rejected the meaningfulness of being. I am referring to the nihilist interpretation, which is at once the denial of all foundations and the negation of all objective truth. . . . . Truth and freedom either go together hand in hand or together they perish in misery. 106

p. 61. In order to fulfill its mission, moral theology must turn to a philosophical ethics which looks to the truth of the good, to an ethics which is neither subjectivist nor utilitarian. Such an ethics implies and presupposes a philosophical anthropology and a metaphysics of the good.

p. 64. Such a ground for understanding and dialogue is all the more vital nowadays, since the most pressing issues facing humanity—ecology, peace and the co-existence of different races and cultures, for instance—may possibly find a solution if there is a clear and honest collaboration between Christians and the followers of other religions and all those who, while not sharing a religious belief, have at heart the renewal of humanity.

p. 64. The intimate bond between theological and philosophical wisdom is one of the Christian traditions most distinctive treasures in the exploration of revealed truth.
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John Piper: Faith and Reason

Essay on Faith and Reason

All three men are on personal journeys to better understand not only themselves, but their faith as well. These pieces of writing are extremely influential, which are why they continue to be studied today. Faith and reason will always be a popular. However, there are some that look to faith, or the concept of believing in a higher power as the reason for our existence. Being that this is a fundamental issue for humanity, there have been many attempts to explain what role each concept plays.

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you. The work of Thomas Aquinas, though somewhat insignificant in his own day, is arguably some of the most studied, discussed, and revered to emerge from the medieval period. Theology is faith seeking understanding, but the tool of reason utilized to achieve such understanding should never be so arrogantly deployed so as to undermine the truths of faith. Throughout his career, Aquinas, like most prominent academic theologians, was embroiled in the debate over the correct utilization of philosophy, specifically Aristotle, in the universities. It is due to his desire to reject the adoption of radical Aristotelianism that Aquinas offers a systematic account of the relationship between faith and reason, ultimately granting the latter the position of handmaid to the former. As Aquinas writes For that with which the human reason is naturally endowed is clearly most true; so much so, that it is impossible for us to think of such truths as false.

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Use at least one example of a Christian teaching that shows the harmony of faith and reason The harmony of faith and reason are the grounds upon which many Christian teachings are built. This relationship enhances elements of both constructs, however the danger of separating reason from faith is that reason will endeavour to prove literally and most logically which would cause the ultimate goal and question to be lost in deliberation and, on the other hand, separating faith from reason would cause faith to be viewed as mere fable or superstition. Reason could be simply defined as the logical conclusion drawn from literal occurrences or the confirmed nature of a tradition or practise. Reason is generally understood as the principals for a methodological inquiry, whether intellectual, moral, aesthetic or religious. The basis of faith is usually adapted from the authority of revelation whether that be direct God speaking directly to a person , or indirect books of the bible, sermons by priests, etc.

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1 thoughts on “Fides et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason by John Paul II

  1. The elements of Faith and Reason have been widely discussed and debated in almost all religious circles.

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