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Philosophy: Reason Vs. Revelation, Asses The Extent To Which Faith Is More Valid If Based On Reason Rather Than Revelation.

762 words - 3 pages

Faith is a belief that God exists and a trust in him. Some believe thatfaith should be based on reason and others that it should be based on revelation. There are two types of revelation. Propositional revelation is direct communication between God and humanity, during which truths about religion are conveyed. In many cases these are in the form of holy books, the Bible, Qur'an and the Torah for example. However that authority may come through special experiences. The emphasis though is on revelation through authority, notably sacred writings, ratherthan through ordinary human experience.Thereforethe propositional concept of revelation may lead to a voluntarist approach to faith. This the acceptance of beliefs about God by a deliberate act of will, rather than on the concept of relationship. Pascal took the voluntarist approach to faith. 'Pascal's Wager' states that 'If we wager our lives that God exists, we stand to gain eternal salvation if we are right and loose little if we are wrong. If on the other hand we wager our lives that there is no God, we stand to gain little if we are right but to loose eternal happiness if we are wrong'. This approach therefore involves a great deal of risk taking.Karl Barth stated that human reason is corrupt and cannot reach to a proper knowledge of God. Instead of relying on natural human reason, people should turn to revelation. They should recognize that God is so utterly different from anything creaturely, that their only proper ground for talking about God lies in what God himself has said. This supports the idea that blind faith has more validity than reasoned faith.D.Z Phillips agreed with Barth's view and claimed that trying to justify belief in God by means of reason is misguided, as it doesn't engage with the true nature of religious belief. In Phillips's view, belief in God is intelligible and acceptable on it's own terms, and is not something that stands in need of support by rational or philosophical argument.Soren Kierkegaard also believed it is inappropriate to base belief in God on reason and he emphasised the necessity of irrational leaps of faith. 'Assembling arguments and evidence in favour of belief in God is useless, to have faith you must commit yourself, youmust take 'the leap of faith', believing...

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