Faith in Reason
Q&A Radio: 19 January 2014, Question 1
I answered a question on faith in reason on 19 January 2014. You can listen to or download the podcast of just this question below – or check out the whole episode of Philosophy in Action Radio.
Does being rational mean having faith in reason? I'm a high school student in a religious school. Many of my classmates claim that my belief in a knowable reality, science, and reason is merely a form of faith. So how can a person validate his own reason and senses? How can a person know that they are reliable means of knowing reality – unless he uses them and thereby engages in circular reasoning? My classmates claim that God is the only way out of this puzzle: God checks our reasoning by verifying and opposing our various conclusions. How can I respond to their arguments effectively?
My Answer, In Brief: The validity of perception and logic cannot be proven due to problems of circularity, but they can be validated by noticing that they are fundamental and inescapable in any thinking or claims of knowledge. Faith, in contrast, rejects the need for any justification – not just of itself, but of any claims of faith too.
- Duration: 26:14
- Download: MP3 Segment (9.0 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Foundationalist Theories of Epistemic Justification
- Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Ayn Rand
- Ayn Rand Lexicon: Faith and Axioms
- Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
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About Philosophy in Action
I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.
From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.
My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.
I can be reached via e-mail to [email protected].