Faith and Reason

There are many dichotomies people seem to accept as givens without actually considering whether they are legitimate. One of these is faith and reason. It is commonly held, or at least unquestionably assumed, at least in some circles, that these are two distinct and dissimilar methods for discovering truth. I disagree.The only means for discovering truth with which we humans have been endowed is reason. Our senses deliver raw data to our brain which processes this data until our conscious mind can identify and categorize what we sense and then proceed to form opinions and to make and carry out plans based on those opinions.

Faith comes in one of two flavours. Some invoke it to bestow some divine legitimacy on what is nothing more than their closed-minded refusal to abandon bias in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This “blind” faith is no path to truth but a means of obfuscation.The other flavour is simply a word meaning that a judgment has been made on the basis of incomplete evidence, partly in the hope that the object of one”s faith is true. But where does this original judgment originate if not from the mind”s rational process.

The evidence, though incomplete, as in not overwhelmingly conclusive, must originate come from the senses. It may seem like a stray thought and may even be difficult or impossible to trace back to distinct sensory input. But it must have originated there or one is forced to believe in senses beyond the only ones of which we have any reliable evidence.

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