Friday, March 6, 2009

False Dichotomies: Science and Reason vs. Religion and Faith

It seems that in our culture, for whatever reason, we view faith and reason in opposition. As a result of this position, we view religion (as the exemplar of faith) and science (as the exemplar of reason) as irreconcilable worldviews. Either the universal claims of science must be right and the claims of religion wrong, or vice versa. There is no middle ground, no merging of the two.

Why is this? Why must an individual choose between faith and reason? Is faith unreasonable? Is reason faithless? I would argue that this cultural dispute is all premised on a fundamentally wrong understanding of the nature of faith and reason. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, as some in culture would have us believe, but are in fact complementary.

I have a lot of projects to work on this weekend, so I won't be able to explore this issue to the depth I would like to right now. My plan is to devote three more posts to this topic: 1. A discussion on the nature of Faith, 2. A discussion on the nature of Reason, and 3. A discussion on the potential synthesis of the two. I wanted to post this as a kind of preview so that I could not only get your comments on the subject before I start to write, but also to insure that I actually follow through with it. If you know me you know that I don't have a good track record with blogging, so here's hoping that the risk of public derision will motivate me! I hope to start on the posts next week. Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ben! I think that sounds like a great idea. I agree with your argument, but I'd love to see it all unpacked. I will admit that I had to read some of the more complicated sentences slowly to make sure that I understood what you were talking about. Oh well. I guess you're a philosophy student.