Monday, October 08, 2007

An argument for intelligent belief - International Herald Tribune

An argument for intelligent belief - International Herald Tribune:
"An increasingly common argument against religion is to point out how irrational it is. Authors like Richard Dawkins ('The God Delusion'), Sam Harris ('The End of Faith') and Christopher Hitchens ('God is Not Great') all make the point that the essential irrationality of religion leads people to do stupid, dangerous, and even violent things.

Let's admit it: They're at least partially correct. Many ostensibly religious people have done appalling things in the name of religion and, more importantly, because of their religious beliefs. In that long list of abuses you could include the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and the bombing of abortion clinics.

To listen to these critics of religion, however, you would think that this is all that religion does, and that believing in God necessarily means being stupid, ignorant and narrow-minded. But ignoring the simple fact that religion is one of the foundations of modern learning is itself, well, stupid, ignorant and narrow-minded."
Well, this article is off to an interesting start.... James Martin cuts quickly to the chase here and makes his case that faith is NOT inherently irrational.

I can remember a conversation I had maybe 30 years ago -- I made a comment that faith was, at its core, irrational. The person with whom I was speaking said "no, faith is reasonable". By this he did not dismiss lightly the idea of a "leap of faith", but rather he suggested that because he could reason his way through faith, the leap was a reasonable outcome. After 30 years of head-scratching on my part, I am still learning things that make my faith not only reasonable to me, but also that make it easier to articulate my faith to others.

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