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Paper 4 Topic 2

1035 words - 5 pages

There are many different opinions about the differences between faith and reason. Traditionally viewed differences between reason and faith are that reason is something that requires empirical, factual evidence while faith relies merely on, well, faith. For something to have reason it must have some kind of factual evidence to make it true, or at least very good sound reasoning to believe that whatever it is, is factual. Faith is far from something that attains empirical evidence, faith usually relies on personal accounts which are usually of mystical content. Many philosophers have different opinions about how the two can coexist; some say under no circumstances at all, while others claim ...view middle of the document...

Pascal also argues a cost benefit analysis claiming that the choice is made very clear by the two outcomes clearly laid out for you in the Bible. You can believe in God and give up finite things now to live in eternal paradise later if God is real, or suffer no real consequences if it’s not. Or you cannot believe in God and either be right and nothing happens or risk living in eternal damnation. Pascal claims this is reason enough to devote yourself to God because of the risk of the consequences in a greater outcome of what could happen. He also claims that by devoting yourself and attending church, mass, etc. you will hopefully gain faith in what you’re devoting your time to.
Clifford offers an entirely different approach than Pascal, Clifford claims that to reason by pragmatic justification is in fact no reason at all. Clifford claims that by blindly devoting yourself to a religion without justification of its truthfulness is wrongdoing to mankind. He argues that putting so much faith into something you’re unsure of will not allow you to fully investigate the reasoning behind it. “No man holding a strong belief on one side of a question, or even wishing to hold a belief one side, can investigate it with such fairness and completeness as if he were really in doubt and unbiased; so that the existence of a belief not founded on fair inquiry unfits a man for the performance of this necessary duty.”(499) I believe this to be a very strong argument, for if you are one-sided on anything you will obviously be biased toward anything said against that side.
I also agree that it is our duty as humans to really investigate the truth of claims and not believe wild assertions. “Men speak the truth to one another when each reveres the truth in his own mind and in...

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