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Faith And Reason Essay

1366 words - 5 pages

Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science once said, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” Professor Dawkins is an avid evangelist of reason and logic, and condemns any faith-based worldviews, seeing faith and reason as complete opposites. The conflict between the two is and everlasting debate, pondered by many great philosophers since the time of Aristotle and Plato. C.S. Lewis takes on the debate in his novel Till We Have Faces by expressing his views through the actions and thoughts of Orual and her two mentors, Bardia and the Fox, as well as her sister Psyche. Because of the insufficiency of the explanations of Orual’s two mentors, as well as the eventual unison of Psyche’s faith-based worldview and Orual’s reasonable skepticism, C.S. Lewis provides a conclusion to the debate between faith and reason by uniting the two in an unbreakable bond.
The Fox, a mentor for Orual who bases his life purely on reason, fails to provide Orual with insufficient explanations for the nature of the gods. His stubbornly logical point of view is expressed early in the novel, when he disregards the stories of the gods: “‘Not that this ever really happened,’ the Fox said in haste. ‘It’s only lies of poets, lies of poets, child. Not in accordance with nature’” (Lewis 8). Even this early on, an incompleteness in a purely logical viewpoint appears in the Fox, because these stories that he dismisses are the same stories that he studies and sometimes cherishes even more than his reason-based philosophy. Further insufficiencies in this logic based worldview appear in the Fox’s admission to Orual that his reason deluded her into judging the gods during one of Orual’s hallucinations in the second book. When Orual goes to be judged, the Fox cries out in defense of her, saying, “I never told her why the old Priest got something from the dark House that I never got from my trim sentences” (295). By admitting his mistakes despite what sometimes seems comes off as his intellectual arrogance, he expresses the ultimate form of regret: an indicator that even he knows that pure reason is insufficient.
Because of the insufficiency of pure reason and logic, the other side of the argument, faith, must play a role. Bardia, a man who Orual took to be a second mentor, serves as a foil to the Fox in that he assumes a faith-based position on the actions and nature of the gods. However, this position also proves ineffective when on its own. When confronted by Orual about Psyche’s insistence that her husband is a god, he answers, “I don’t well know what’s really, when it comes to houses of gods,” implying that his faith comes from simple fear (135). He assumes the gods to be horrible beings, exemplified by his position that Psyche’s husband is the Brute: “I should say—speaking as...

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