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The Controversy Between Faith and Reason

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The choice of whether to use faith or reason in deciding various issues that face human beings remains a controversy. These two are used as a marker of whether a decision is ethical or not. Scientists and its followers believe in reason as a way of making decisions that are based on truth and objectivity while some philosophers and religious people think that faith is the fundamental part of making decisions. With faith, it is believed to be an inherent part of being a believer in any religion and some things happen for simply accepting. This paper seeks to discuss various sources by making an annotated bibliography which highlights the views of different authors on the controversy.

In this article (Vittorio, 2016) illustrate the relationship between faith and reason and the position of the two in theology. About Pope Paul II, the author describes faith and reason as integral parts of the understanding the truth. Human beings are naturally inclined towards seeking the truth. However, Vittorio notes that there is no single truth. Therefore faith and reason are useful in gaining wisdom that is useful in finding the truth. Vittorio reveals that faith and reason are not necessarily in opposition and that neither should enfeeble the relevance of the other (p.4). Vittorio argues that the need to separate the two has led to a focus on the same by philosophers. Although some people refuse that there is a relationship between the two aspects of decisions making particularly to Christianity, some situations demand the use of the two. Further, he concludes that the two can coexist and provide a way of finding the truth and making ethical decisions.

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In this article, Cortés, Del Río & Vigil (2015) illustrates that despite the existence of controversy on faith and science, these two have a harmonious relationship in human life. The authors define science as the activities undertaken to gather knowledge in the bid to find causes and explain principles and phenomena. Similarly, faith is defined as that inevitable spiritual part of human life that is used to describe things beyond the material world. Referring to the work of Carrol, the authors argue that faith and science should be viewed as the two pillars of each civilization. They argue that the said controversy is as a result of the two opposing positions which are strict rationalism and reductionist which do away with the power of God in human life (pg. 8). Similarly, the authors argue that the reductionist perspective goes against nature by undermining the role of the spiritual part of a person.

In this article Rosental, (2004) discusses the view of Thomas Aquinas in resolving the controversy of faith and reason. According to Aquinas, philosophy on its dwells on analyzing truth and false aspects about various issues. Further, the author notes that some approaches of trying to explain faith and whether it is enough to be used to judge or not end up causing tension (p. 12). Further, those who do not believe in faith argue that faith lacks the objectivity required in producing and presenting evidence. On the other hand, referring to Plantinga, the authors argue that beliefs form part of the evidence as they meet minimal standards. Similarly, the author concludes that as long as faith goes through the process of cognitive functionality, then it qualifies to be a good source of judging and making decisions. That way, faith yields to what is regarded to be epistemological rational of forming beliefs. Although the many illustrations of the importance of faith Aquinas argues that faith alone cannot explain all matters that affect human beings. Therefore, he reconciles the two by indicating that the two complement each other.

In this article Richard Neuhaus (1998) describes the role of faith and reasoning in finding the truth. The author refers to St. Paul in explaining why reason is an important part of finding the truth which is often ignored. He argues that reason enables human beings to understand Gods will for their life. Further. In quoting the Bible where St. Paul addresses the issue of foolishness, the author argues that reason to a certain extent makes a person prisoners of himself trying to analyze issues. In the process, people are made incapable of seeing their weaknesses or even strength as they chose to abide by the law of reason. Also, the author argues that truth is not only grounded on experiments and evidence as in science but also religious truth. To some extent truth us based on the values of a society which are at times not consistent with science but only faith which eventually becomes the truth. I find the source useful as Neuhaus provides illustrations which his target can easily relate with making it a practical way of explaining reason and faith.

In this article, Sztanyo 1996 discusses the relationship between faith and reason in the bid to demystify the controversy surrounding the same. The author focuses the discussion on the influence of reason and faith to human beings as a way of explaining things in life from the biblical perspective among others. Moreover, the author argues that the Bible has better illustrations of faith and reason as well as when to apply each. He argues that the Bible does not only ask Christians to use faith but also goes ahead to provide evidence that the use of the same works. In his work, the author presents various points on how to view the two issues. In one example, he describes a case of atheists and philosophers in the bid to discuss faith and reason or faith and science. Another argument within his work is that faith and reason cannot be reconciled and cannot coexist. He terms faith as illustrated in the bible as the rational belief that involves finding facts to find the truth. I find this author unique in the way he chooses to use various views to let the reader conclude.

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