Are faith and reason opposite ways of understanding the world?

I lose what exactly? And to whom? How even? So many questions…
But I see that I struck a nerve. Can´t say that it doesn´t amuse me.
Although you haven´t given any reason to believe that you actually want to learn, others might be interested in the work of Lloyd Strickland on Leibniz on Religion.

According to what?
The Cambride dictionary´s synonym for faith is trust. We know that trust isn´t applied without evidence, it´s a leap when given prior evidence that the other person can follow up their promise.

You believe that your cognitive faculties are reliable.
You hold to the law of noncontradiction.
You believe that the universe is intelligible.
You believe that humans have the capacity to use the scientific method to gain objective knowledge.
You engage in naive realism (reality is generally as we perceive it) and reject Descartes demon.

Should I go on? The point is clear, everyone engages in metaphysical presuppositions. Yes, even science itself. 3 and 4 are particularly important.

How about making a real argument that the religious believer really does explicitly that. I have yet to see something that is not a blind assertion.

Oh it seems like we can add “Materialism” to the list of things you believe in. Tell me, oh great philosopher, how can we rule out the immaterial soul? I´m not even a cartesian dualist, but now I´m genuinely curious.

There is no scientifically acceptable evidence that anything in the historical sciences really happened. What is the scientific evidence for the explicit route Hannibal took to cross the Alps with his troops? What is the scientific evidence for Caesar to be stabbed to death? And why do you constantly engage in categorical mistakes which are so easy to avoid?

Why? Are you a historian? If not, do you have any reasons which go beyond dogma?

Of the body, for sure. Noone disputed that anywhere. But I understand that you want to keep breaking down strawman instead of engaging with the real opponent. After all you have shown to be quite good at that.

And this is the crux of the whole discussion. If you´ve had any intellectual honesty at all, you´d recognize that “proof” and “evidence” are two completely different things. Remember the list of 5 (rather 6, “materialism”) things you believe in? Give the proof for any of them. Do it. I´m waiting. Over this whole discussion here (which has to set the BioLogos negative record for the lowest quality) you have changed the definition silently from faith being believe without evidence, to now it being without proof. However there is no such thing as a “proof”, only establishing beyond reasonable doubt. So if you want to assert the standards you set for the theist in this comment and then apply the same standard to your own presuppositions, you´d get nowhere, because there is no way to prove your own prior assumptions to be true.

Either this whole shtick is the most sophisticated troll of all time or you are indeed one of the least selfaware people I have ever read.

Earl: I like your merchant example. Its sets up the notion of a transactional relationship. But I don’t think faith (as religionists use the term) is correct in your example. I’d say that a customer’s “faith” in the quality, reliability and truthfulness of the merchant should be called judgement. That judgement is comprised of many tangible and intangible attributes, though perhaps, in total, none sufficient to claim 100% certainty that the merchant won’t fail you. The customer’s assessment satisfies a particular standard of evidence* that is within the comfort zone. So you go with it and all is well. But its perfectly reasonable that the merchant could act in a way to violate your judgement. We are all imperfect humans operating in a natural world.

Contrast that natural merchant/customer relationship when the merchant is offering a supernatural, unprovable and sometimes impossible product. If the same reasoning strategy you employed in the natural merchant/customer relationship is maintained, it is logical that you would not accept the merchant’s supernatural offering. Applying any of the four legal standards of evidence to the merchant’s supernatural offering returns a conclusion of falsehood. It is reasonable and defensible that their is zero scientific, rational, reasonable evidence of supernatural claims like these in the bible: angels, holy ghosts, demons or a 6000 year-old earth.

in the legal world there are four standards of evidence: 

substantial evidence
preponderance of evidence
clear and convincing evidence
beyond a reasonable doubt

I am challenged by your claim that “It’s impossible for a person not to have a god”. I don’t agree. I am me, no one else. If you respond to say that I am my own god and I am subservient to myself, that doesn’t convince.

I think your hot stove example fits into the merchant/customer relationship I described better than any supernatural relationship.

You claim that questioning certain biblical claims only reflects a “failure to believe that God is The supernatural Almighty that He claims to be and effectively demotes God to the status of frail humanity”. I don’t beleieve in a god.

I believe all true vs false religious discussions begin with proving there is a god. If there is no god, then all of religion’s supernatural claims are a very cool story.

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Hello Gunter, I’m sorry I waited too long to post on your leg #40651, “Are faith and reason opposite ways of understanding the world?” and your leg shut down. So I will start another here. I hope this will answer the statements you made.

But the judgment you are speaking of is what the customer’s faith is based on. Is it not? Wouldn’t the faith disappear if the merchant is judged badly?

A good merchant’s nemesis is an unscrupulous competitor that tries to steal business by destroying a customer’s faith with smear tactics.

But unlike fallen humanity, God whose unchangeable word stands forever is forever faithful. Do we expect the law of gravity to fail? Has it ever? God is the Author of laws and is likewise forever unfailing.

You are speaking at this critical point of the area where faith is the most important and most needed. It is written (documented):

“But without faith it is impossible to please him (Isn’t that also true with the merchant?): for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him(Hebrews 11:6).”


“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2z:14).”

With that true, the unconverted natural man must therefore accept by faith truth of the spiritual realm as proclaimed by God’s messenger called the preacher. Ones unawareness of the spiritual realm does not negate the fact that he is daily affected by it. The fact that God is supernatural and unseen does not negate His omnipresence. But He showed Himself as the Son (Hebrews 1:3).

Have you ever seen a black hole? You are sure they exist by your faith in the reporter. Not only has God abundantly proven Himself (Do we care to notice?) He supernaturally proves Himself to the heart of him that accepts and turns to Him. The purchased product proves the merchant’s ability to meet the need.

The scientific search for knowledge through experimentation may be carried out only within natural boundaries. But the scientists that perform the work are governed by supernatural moral laws beyond the natural domain. Otherwise moral laws would be meaningless as in the case of Nazi scientist that performed destructive experiments on live human subjects.

If awareness of God is not needed in science, shouldn’t we all be afraid of scientists that they may end up like the Nazis?

But have we forgotten the possibility of taking for granted the multitudes of things that meet these standards to the point of failure to notice? Isn’t it also possible that the evidence may have been stolen (attributed to another cause)?

What scientific law assures us that the gigantic amount of coded information stored in DNA came about by random chance over megannum instead of having been created by God? What repeatable experiment proves such? Can code arise from randomness? If it takes intelligence to create a simple mouse trap, what about DNA that’s millions of times more complex? If man can’t create DNA, what intelligence did?

How do we determine what’s legal or not other than by law? Is man the ultimate source of law? What makes unalienable rights in the US DOI unalienable?

Convincing evidence beyond the shadow of a doubt surround us is like the trees in a forest that block the view of it to some.

What’s unseen is not necessarily nonexistent.

But you are a servant to someone or something, aren’t you? Aren’t you engaged in an ulltimate effort to meet someone or something’s demands sparring no expense? We may not even realize it. Isn’t there someone somewhere you and I are subject to that’s higher than our bosses and civil government?

But what you say you don’t believe is documented. What are those papers that judges look for and love? But if you prefer not, don’t! You must do it from your heart if you do. But does the choice not to believe the truth you were informed of necessarily make the proclaimed truth untrue? Mr. Reality has his way of graciously making aware.

Is your speech out of denial? If afraid of God, please remember the prodigal son and his father.

Knowledge of God does not arrive from mere religious discussions or debates. It’s simply proclaimed as fact. Can one argue with a witness? Belief is up to the individual. But whether believed or not, the responsibility to heed remains for the hearer once he is informed. But he that proclaims this truth must make sure that he sets a decent example of the character of God.

Final note. When a person drives an expensive super performance sports car, is it only the tangable material the car is made of that he enjoys or is it the vison of the builder brought to reality by skill and heartfelt effort to make the best possible machine for the driver’s pleasure? Which?

As you, a scientist work under the hood of nature to increase understanding of that magnificant “engine,” is it only the tangible material or is it the magnificence of the work done by the builder that you appreciate? Doesn’t the work elicits respect? How do you respect brainless Chance.


Hi Earl: Thanks for your thoughful response. You said a mouthful there; I’ll need some time to respond. Gunter

Hello Gunther.

Thank you for your grateful comment.

This post is an addendum for a more detailed coverage of the miracles of the virgin birth, the restoration of life, and the global flood scenario that’s hard to fathom by some.

What logical support do we have for the restoration of life that occurred in both the Old and the New testaments? As I said earlier, none of the three would be possible if God is nonexistent. Neither would we be here.

Let’s go back to the foundational book of Genesis. It is written,

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17)”

That was a test for Adam and Eve’s use of the freedom of choice given them. But they by choice fell for the lie, “Ye shall not surely die” and acted against the warning not to eat the fruit and thus brought the curse of death on themselves and all of mankind. We thus read through the Bible that because of Adam, man dies.

God, the Giver of life that pronounced death for the rebellion of sin is able to restore life also. So we thus read later in the Bible cases where the curse was temporary relaxed and people were brought back to life by an OT prophet, Jesus, the Son of God, and the disciples because of the new birth. These were God’s demonstrations of His power over death for our sake. But the restored individuals eventually died as the rest of us.

We also find the basis of the virgin birth in Genesis.

“And I will put enmity between thee (the serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15).”

This brings us to the New Testament that begins with the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God on earth that inherited the Father’s sinless nature. For God to be His father, what other way could Jesus have been born other than of a virgin? What’s impossible with man is possible with God. Our hope for redemption would have been otherwise impossible.

The first Adam brought death upon us and Jesus, the second Adam that died for us on the cross made possible the restoration of physical life as we saw and also the spiritual resurrection of His followers after death. These are only two examples that help us see the extreme importance of foundational knowledge of Genesis 1-12.

Was the global flood as described in the Bible possible? I need not describe the terrible mess the world is in around us. As God offered salvation through Noah’s Ark, so does He today through the gospel. But the Bible warns us of skeptics toward judgment of this day similar to skeptics during Noah’s day. Let’s please beware of skepticism. As we appreciate the effort of scientists for increased understanding, why the division among scientists? Why are there scientists that show us sure evidence of the global flood and others that show the opposite? Doesn’t the scientific method properly carried out assure us the truth? But scientist are imperfect people like the rest of us. The diametrical differences are dependent on opposing presuppositional starting points. Based on the scripture, “let God be true, but every man a liar (Romans 3:4)” which side should we believe? Why not what’s documented in the infallible word of God?

I retired from an engineering technician career. I find Biblical knowledge not only as exciting as engineering, but even more. You find in the Bible a cross section of humanity and of God’s gracious interaction with fallen man to bring toward redemption. This knowledge brings much help in dealing with problems of humanity around us.

The surest way to know the reality of God is by direct interaction of an honest prayer. You’ll find Him to be the best of friends.