Re: Faith and Reason

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Tue May 27 2003 - 03:06:22 EDT

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    Dick Fischer wrote in part:

    "Balancing out faith and reason is a high wire act. You can't fully trust in your ability to reason, and you can't take the word of others without checking it out.

    "Where do we turn?

    "We turn to data and evidence. The stuff of science! This is the American Scientific Affiliation, is it not?

    "We place our faith in the things we can substantiate with corroborating data and evidence."

    Some people believe God exists, others believe there is neither god nor God. Both beliefs represent a kind of faith, but neither belief can be objectively substantiated. On questions such as the existence of God, or whether one should be politically liberal, where the answers one chooses do not allow for objective substantiation, I assert that most if not all people make their decisions on the basis of feelings and justify them afterwards with rational arguments.

    Data and evidence are never enough by themselves to settle such issues, although for a particular individual a particular piece of data may push him or her over the edge one way or the other.

    Hence one's life experiences generally are going to be far more compelling than someone else's rational arguments.

    Where it is possible to substantiate, of course, we should; but in such cases "faith" has a different meaning.


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