Friday, February 17, 2017

What Is The Relationship Between Faith And Reason?

          Secular people tend to believe that religion and science contradict each other. They are depicted as not being compatible entities. It is claimed by atheists that faith and reason together cannot be used to construct a coherent worldview. A dichotomy is set up between an irrational, old-fashioned person who believes in religion and the rational, educated, sane person who believes in science alone. That is a misguided conception of things, however. It would be akin to saying that one has greater faith in science than faith itself.

          The truth of the matter is that people who maintain that faith and reason are utterly opposed to each other have presented us with a false dichotomy. A logical person can also be religious. A religious person can indeed be reasonable and intelligent. In fact, foundational scientific advancements were made during a time when most scientists were religious people. While faith and reason are distinct from each other, they function together in different degrees.

          Faith and reason are inseparable. Faith cannot operate without reason. Reason cannot operate without faith. One cannot function independently of the other. Both co-exist harmoniously. Faith and reason overlap. The two do not stand in contradiction to each other when their relationship is properly understood. They complement each other. Beliefs rest on both faith and reason. Faith exists no matter how strong the evidence for a given proposition is.

          Our faith should not be blind, but informed by evidence. We occupy reason to grasp scientific concepts such as DNA, the atmosphere, and dinosaurs. Truths revealed solely through divine revelation would include the Trinity and virgin birth. These spiritual truths transcend the natural realm. Faith and reason overlap in areas such as intelligent design, objective moral laws, and the resurrection. These matters require both elements. When faith and reason walk together, we see completeness in our lives. Rather than opposing forces, they enhance our understanding of reality and guide our pursuit of truth.

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