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Is Faith Rational, Irrational, or Arational?

The tension between faith and reason is most prominent in Christian circles, but is to some degree a factor in every contemporary religious expression. Some argue that faith is a reasonable approach to reality, whereas others might argue that it must be a blind leap that transcends reason, and still others argue that it has no relationship to reason whatsoever. What does your faith tradition teach about reason and belief?


Faith and Reason

Is Disbelief Rational?

Is Disbelief Rational?

Tom Gilson

Rumors of the irrationality of faith are prejudiced, premature, and probably based in poor reasoning.

Both Faith and Reason Have Fallen on Hard Times

Both Faith and Reason Have Fallen on Hard Times

Barry Harvey

When we talk about faith in relation to reason we naturally focus on its cognitive aspect, but this isn't its only or most significant dimension.

The Role of Faith in Being Reasonable

The Role of Faith in Being Reasonable

Anne Jeffrey

Faith and reason are both critical to constructing a common life that respects the other and seeks the public good.

Faith Undergirds All Reason

Faith Undergirds All Reason

Andrew Kaethler

Both the Christian and the secular materialist depend upon a shared principle: human reason correlates with the world. To put it differently, both the Christian and the materialist have faith that human reason reflects reality.

Rational Faith: More Working Hypothesis Than Logical Proof

Rational Faith: More Working Hypothesis Than Logical Proof

Leah Libresco

Faith is rational, but rationality is fuzzy logic.

Real Religion Doesn't Know

Real Religion Doesn't Know

David Mason

When we labor to make religion make sense, we end up with the hateful violence of fundamentalism.

Faithfully and Passionately Peeking

Faithfully and Passionately Peeking

Keith Putt

Faith and hope do exist in the crevices of experience where the light of reason can never illuminate them as if they were vulnerable to principles of verification. They do, invariably, consort with blindness.

Rationality and Faith: Where the Human and Divine Meet

Rationality and Faith: Where the Human and Divine Meet

Karen Azar Rubin

How are rationality and faith different? Can they co-exist in the human mind?

Faith and Reason: A Jewish and Philosophical Basis

Faith and Reason: A Jewish and Philosophical Basis

Yoel Schaper

Modern philosophy of religion and natural theology make a strong case for faith. These disciplines are not only compatible with Judaism but have had, and still have, great Jewish contributors.

Faith: The Other F-Word

Faith: The Other F-Word

Bob Seidensticker

A skeptic wades through the competing definitions for "faith."

Approaching the Unthinkable Thought of God: Faith as Super-rational

Approaching the Unthinkable Thought of God: Faith as Super-rational

Erick Sierra

Christian intellectuals, impatient with Enlightenment dogma of legitimation, are emboldened in new ways to rewrite the terms by which we play the knowledge game.

Religion: Divorced from the Hallmarks of Rationality

Religion: Divorced from the Hallmarks of Rationality

Roy Speckhardt

We can and do use the same scientifically-rigorous approaches of observation, analysis, trial and error, and conclusion when approaching questions of meaning, purpose, and right and wrong.

Faith and Reason Wrestle with Santa Claus and Curtain Aurora

Faith and Reason Wrestle with Santa Claus and Curtain Aurora

Peter Thulson

Can I resolve a reasonable faith that can weather the testimony and address my longing but not indulge it?

Faith Is Rational: An Invitation to Consider the Possibility

Faith Is Rational: An Invitation to Consider the Possibility

Carson Weitnauer

Imagine with me for a moment that the Christian account of reality actually has it right.

The Divine Hug: Beyond Faith or Reason

The Divine Hug: Beyond Faith or Reason

Tarn Wilson

Faith and reason are useful tools, but as activities of the brain, both are limited. What's the answer then? If neither faith nor reason are adequate paths to the divine, how do we get there?

Commentary From Our Blogging Community

What’s Wrong with a Tree of Knowledge?

What’s Wrong with a Tree of Knowledge?

Coleman Glenn

Swedenborgians celebrate the compatibility of science and faith, of reason and religion. But there's a serpent in the garden. What does it mean to hold a rational faith but to reject the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

Rational Faith: Why God is Not a Malevolent Bully

Rational Faith: Why God is Not a Malevolent Bully

Melinda Selmys

Yesterday, I promised that I would address the charges that the God which I (as a Catholic) worship is a “misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” I can see from the combox that some of the atheist peanut gallery are standing by, waiting for me to tangle myself up [Read More...]

Why I am (Really) Not an Atheist: Rational Faith Pt 2

Why I am (Really) Not an Atheist: Rational Faith Pt 2

Melinda Selmys

Recently, I was writing about the difference between rational faith and irrational forms of fundamentalism. Naturally, some of my atheist commentariat concluded that I was either an atheist in Christian clothing, or else that I’m on the quick and slippery slope that leads to atheism. So I want to talk about why I’m not an [Read More...]