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Friday, January 28, 2005

Leap of Faith

Sam and I have been exchanging ideas on the use and merit of logic. Sam questions whether logic can be separated from belief, and requests that I clarify my statements. I admit I have not fully thought this idea through, but welcome the opportunity to sort through some “primitive” thoughts of my own.

I think there’s a certain point where people hold certain things to be true based on faith, not logic. Religious belief is a great example. Kierkegaard talks about a “leap of faith.” There is a chasm between God and the human being that can only be bridged through faith. We cannot be absolutely certain that there is a God, or that one specific religious system is best, unless we have faith. I am not saying religion lacks logic. Far from it. Yet religion is characterized by faith and belief. We can argue all we want about the illogical nature of any religion, but there will be hundreds of people who hold strongly to it regardless of any rational proofs otherwise. The religious are not in need of rationality. They put their faith in the divine and seek spiritual satisfaction through submission.

I know there are individuals who present rational reasons for belief in God. I have been privy to some of the ensuing religious debates, but I do not know whether proofs for the rationality of Christianity would be enough convince a non-Christian to become a Christian. There is some other mysterious element at play when someone chooses a religious path, and I believe it beyond the scope of human reason and cannot be fully comprehended or explained.


  • At 1/29/2005 11:10:00 a.m., Blogger ephphatha said…

    Thank you for the clarification. I understand what you mean now. It has given me an idea for more things I want to say on my blog, but I don't have much time this weekend.


  • At 6/19/2005 11:43:00 p.m., Blogger Steve said…

    I appreciate your comments Safiyya and it is true that a leap of faith is required to believe in God.

    However, what would happen if you reversed the argument? In other words, can you believe in religion without logic?

    I believe reason is required to believe in anything. God must not be contradicted by empirical evidence. God cannot be disproven by science. And God cannot disagree with himself (ie one passage of the Bible/Quran/Torah directly contradicting another passage).

    And how do we know faith is not simply an effort by our subconscious to address or fears and insecurities? How can we trust faith, in other words? Is it God or what we wish God to be that we believe in!?


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