No "Minnesota nice" for Dan Markingson
Teixobactin to the rescue

Faith versus reason?

Now is as good a time as any to address the false dichotomy between "faith" and "reason."

Ask any believer to defend his faith, and he will probably relate certain personal experiences that convinced him that God was working in his life. There would seem to be no way that these events could have occurred randomly. Of course, this contention can't be proven, so at some point, he just has to believe.

Ask an atheist how he knows that Timbuktu exists. He read about it in a book, he saw a picture of it. Thus, he had to believe that the book was true, or his teacher was correct, or what he calls Timbuktu, is actually Timbuktu. More than that, he has to believe that the definitions of the words in the book are true as he is taught, not to mention the significance of the letters and numbers, themselves. In addition, during any conversation, he has to believe that the words he speaks are also the words he (and others) hear. None of this can be "proven" rationally.

Even if he were to visit this town himself, ultimately, he would have to believe the signs in the town identifying it as such. At some point, he has to accept a basic item on faith.

In fact, the very paragon of rationality—Euclidean geometry—relies on several key assumptions, which can never be proven. i.e. they are taken on faith, right?

Since there is no such thing as non-antecedent reasoning, there is ultimately no difference between faith and reason.



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