Faith and reason have been considered
to be sources of justification for religious belief. Because both purportedly
serve this same epistemic function, it has been a matter of much interest to
philosophers and theologians how the two are related and thus how the rational
agent should treat claims derived from either source.
The purpose of this work is to expose
the nature and roles of faith and reason in our lives, how they influence and
have need of one another in the attainment of truth. It is also aimed at
bringing faith and reason within the grasp of many lay readers.
one of the study lays a theoretical framework for subsequent chapters.
Following the general introduction, the problem statement and the
objective of the study and methodology which provided basis for the
significance of the study and the hypothesis were stated. The limitation of
this study was also highlighted.
the literature review as contained in chapter two, works of various authors,
international and local journals were reviewed to expose the nature and roles of faith and
reason in our lives, how they influence and have need of one another in the
attainment of truth
Chapter three centered on an appraisal of St. Augustine’s idea of
faith and reason, the place of reason and the concept and nature of faith.
Chapter four was based on the roles of faith and reason, both in
religion and in natural sciences.
chapter five was divided into summary and conclusion.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
There are many problems
that weigh on the life of man and very often man goes in search of the truth
that lies behind these problems. Traditionally, faith and reason have been
considered to be sources of justification for religious belief. Because both
purportedly serve this same epistemic function, it has been a matter of much
interest to philosophers and theologians how the two are related and thus how
the rational agent should treat claims derived from either source.
Some have held that
there can be no conflict between the two- that reason properly employed and
faith properly understood will never produce competing claims, where others
have maintained that faith and reason can (or even must) be in genuine
contention over certain propositions or methodologies. Those who have taken the
latter view disagree as to whether faith or reason ought to prevail when the
two are in conflict. Kierkegaard for instance, prioritizes faith even to the
point that it becomes positively irrational, while Locke emphasizes the
reasonableness of faith to such an extent that a religious doctrine’s
irrationality- conflict with itself or with known facts- is a sign that it is
unsound. Other thinkers have theorized that faith and reason can govern their
own separate domains, such that cases of apparent conflict are resolved on the
side of faith when the claim in question is, say, a religious or theological
claim, but resolved on the side of reason when the disputed claim is, for
example, empirical or logical. Some relatively recent philosophers, most
notably the logical positivists, have denied that there is a domain of thought
or human existence rightly governed by faith, asserting instead that all
meaningful statements and ideas are accessible to thorough rational
examination. This has presented a challenge to religious thinkers to explain
how an admittedly non-rational or translational form of language can hold meaningful
cognitive content. It is based on these that the philosophy of Saint Augustine
of Hippo has become a veritable ground to attempt to quench this controversy
and problem of faith and reason. Faith and reason are like two wings on which
the spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. There is no incompatibility
between the two, but rather an ultimate harmony. Faith is not opposed to
reason; rather it requires the full development of reason. And reason itself
requires faith in order to strengthen and guide it.
1.2 STATEMENT OF
The key philosophical
issue regarding the problem of faith and reason is to work out how the
authority of faith and the authority of reason interrelate in the process by
which a religious belief is justified or established as true. The questions
raised are: How shall we Christians deal with apparent conflicts between faith
and reason, between teaching of the bible and the teachings of science? As a
special case, how shall we deal with apparent conflicts between what the Bible
initially seems to tell us about the origin and development of life, and what
contemporary science seems to tell us about it? We have two principles in
operation, reason on the one side, and faith leaning on authority on the other;
and if the one should be at discord with the other, how are the respective
claims of each to be settled? Throughout this work the principle is affirmed
and reaffirmed that faith and reason are really complementary, and neither
should be sacrificed for the other.
1.3 PURPOSE OF
purpose of this work is to expose the nature and roles of faith and reason in
our lives, how they influence and have need of one another in the attainment of
truth. Also it is aimed at bringing faith and reason within the grasp of many
lay readers. And it is expected that at the end of this paper that Christians
will take delight in understanding and contemplating that which they believe,
and that they might be prepared to give satisfactory answers to those who ask
them for the reason for that hope which lies within them.
1.4 METHOD OF
researcher adopted the phenomenological method: critical exposition and textual
analysis of relevant materials. Both books written by Saint Augustine and works
written by various scholars that have proven to be of great relevance to the
given literature, and then commentaries, articles, encyclopedia and other
richly endowed documentaries and publications, library were used.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE
research centers on the philosophy of Saint Augustine of Hippo, with special
focus on the interdependence or philosophical relationship that lies between
faith and reason in the attainment of truth and how the two are to be treated
in our lives.
OF THE STUDY
do I care about knowledge? What can a Christian and a non- Christian gain from
this work? Is it of any usefulness to human life and salvation? Yes. This work
is written for the general reader who wants to know more about these questions:
Is Christian belief rational? What is
the best way of helping other people see the reasonableness of Christian faith?
Can faith and reason still be thought as incompatible? Can a man of faith be a
man of reason as well? Does reason confuse and lead the man of faith into
unbelief? Can faith still be viewed as an arbitrary influence upon human
intellect? This work can serve as a useful tool to them who lacking conscience
attack God with pure reason, also to enquirers of rationalism and revelation. It
will also strive to correct the notion of the layman, scientists,
psychologists, religious fanatics and Christian believers. It intensifies the
need for every faith to be based on reason and every reason to be likewise
based on faith. This is because, as faith is the logical foundation for all
reasoning, so also, reason is a necessary condition for a well meaning and
1. Platinga Alvin, When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and
Bible (University of Notre Dame-
Christian scholars’ Review XXI: 1, September 1991) 1.
2. Donald A. Crosby, Faith and Reason: Their Roles in Religious
and Secular Life (New York: State
University of New York Press, 2011) X.
3. Mircea Eliade (ed), the Encyclopedia of Religion (Macmilan
and Free Press, 1987) Vol. 1 (520-
4. “Faith and reason,” Internet
encyclopedia of philosophy (IEP).
5. George Galloway, Faith and Reason in Religion (London:
Nisbet & Co. Ltd., 1927) 9- 17.
6. John E. Fagan, Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), from the
Teachings of Pope John Paul II: Summaries
of Papal Documents (New York: Scepter Publishers, 2005) 64- 71.
7. John Paul II, “Chapter VI:
Encyclical Letter, Fides et Ratio of the Supreme Pontiff to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the
Relationship Between Faith and Reason”.
8. Dick Sztanyo, Faith and Reason (Apologetics Press
Inc., 1996) 1.