Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ten Ways Faith Opposes Reason

Thinkers since the Renaissance have rightly sensed the destructive conflict faith poses to man’s intellect, his freedom, and his advancement. There are a number of fundamental reasons for this, and I think it’s important to identify them in terms of reason's incompatibility with faith.

Faith (also mysticism) is essentially commitment to the imaginary without acknowledging the imaginary as unreal. As such, faith is a fundamental distinguishing feature of the religious view of the world, a view which makes the world in which we actually live take a backseat to an alleged realm that is accessible only by means of imagination.

In spite of faith’s elevating of imagination over facts, apologists for religious worldviews today, even in the West which enjoys historically unprecedented post-Enlightenment progress, still insist that their faith is compatible with reason. I can only suppose either that they simply do not understand the conflict between reason and faith, or that they want to downplay it in order to exonerate their own worldview’s complicity, witting or not, with trends that are working to erode that progress.