Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Is Faith Irrational?

Fr. James Martin offers a short opinion in the International Herald Tribune on the reasonableness of faith. Here's an excerpt.

But the problem with the atheist's argument is its premise. Why should we believe that anything our reason cannot grasp does not exist?

To me, this seems arrogant. Just because the human mind cannot fully "apprehend" God, to use Aristotle's words, or there is no rational explanation for suffering, does not mean that God does not exist. Besides, on the level of personal experience beyond the rational - that is, emotions, insights, desires, longings, and interior peace - there are plenty of "proofs" for God. You can't prove love either, but it still exists.

So the next time someone tells you that being religious means checking your brain at the door, remind them of religion's fundamental place in Western learning. Remind them that the very logic that they treasure wouldn't even be around if it weren't for those medieval monks. Or remind them that theology is fides quaerens intellectum. At the very least, you'll seem smart for knowing some Latin.

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