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Reason, Faith and Logos - Essay Example

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Reason, Faith and Logos

Introduction Foundational to spiritual and philosophical investigations are the notions of reason and faith. Adherents to faith argue that true recognition of god or the divine cannot be grasped through the implementation of modern notions of reason. These views are contrasted with the perspective of humanist philosophers who advance notions of reason and science as necessary foundations of knowledge. In The Gay Science section 125 Nietzsche proclaims that God is dead – adding that we have killed him. Bearing in mind the long history of philosophical reflection on the interrelation of reason and faith, this essay considers whether religious faith has anything very significant to fear, or to gain, from the arguments of philosophers. Analysis There exists considerable exploration into concerns specifically related to the interaction of faith and reason, with many philosophers and theologians contending that faith is not necessarily removed from reason. Indeed, religious theologians and philosophers to justify religious belief have used both of these concepts. Some contentious have argued that when reason is properly implemented it affirms faith; in this sense reason and faith implement essentially the same methodological means of grasping reality or the divine (Wolterstoff 1998). Still, other perspectives that are less stringent than these understandings indicate that while reason and faith adopt different processes of understanding the world, the use of reason will never be able to contradict faith, as faith is the ‘true’ grasp of this divine order (Wolterstoff 1998). However, other thinkers have argued that the very existence of a notion of ‘faith’ necessitates that it be in-direct contention with notions of reason (Alston 1998). Essentially, this argument considers that there would be no use for a faith concept if faith truly aligned itself with reason. Understandably there is a significant history of thought devoted to the notions of reason and faith and their interaction. One of the earliest recorded such philosophical considerations can be attributed to Greek antiquity. This period of philosophy, known as the classic period, witnessed an explosion of intellectual growth, as a variety of thinkers wrote and debated questions that ran to the essence of the universe and humanity’s place within it. While Judaic traditions were developed during this period, to a large degree their focus was on human existence; conversely, the Greek’s considered notions of faith in regards to larger cosmological concerns (Melchert 2002). To a degree it appears that two separate traditions of thought developed in Greek society, with one embracing religious beliefs and the other more philosophically based notions of reason (Melchert 2002). Still, these Greek belief patterns were not entirely exclusive. Some theorists contend that faith and reason interacted in Greek society through the mythmaking system that developed (Melchert 2002). In these regards, Greek gods emerged that also embodied some civic virtues. These virtues would then be dispersed down to daily life, as individuals would attempt to incorporate them into their value system and regular interactions. It was only later that ...Show more

Summary

Reason, Faith, and Logos Abstract This essay considers the extent that religious faith has anything very significant to fear, or to gain, from the arguments of philosophers. Within this context of investigation the essay traces the interaction and clash of faith and reason from a variety of historical epochs…
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