|Reviews for Faith|
| Complex Variable 10/23/12 . chapter 1
An interesting presentation of an age old issue. I would actually have liked to see more developed on the paradigm you establish between "big faith" and "little faith". From what you describe "little faith" as, it seems more like the natural human tendency to become comfortable/accustomed to patterns of everyday life—and thus, of a highly different function than the over-arching, life-afirming concept of "big faith".
Now, to play the role of the Devil's Advocate for a bit (hah!—it's a pun. XD)
1) Where reason has little or no say (the classic example being "what happens to us after we die?"), it is both understandable and natural to follow the guiding hand of faith. But what about situations where faith and reason are in conflict—or, better yet, where reason has the upper hand? For example, in the Walking-on-Water story from the Bible—assuming that we interpret the story literally, rather than as a metaphor—doesn't reason (particularly, math) tell us that humans cannot walk on the surface of water? Or do we allow our desire for a cohesive sense of faith to tell us that this does not conflict with the Revelation of Jesus as the Son?
2) I like the quote from Voltaire at the end, ["Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe."]. My question for you is, can we swap "faith" and "reason" in that sentence without changing its truth-value? i.e., is "Reason consists in believing what it is beyond the power of faith to believe." true, or not? More importantly: does "faith" have a limit—that is to say, are there some things that not even faith can make you believe in? Similarly, if reason has a limit, beyond which faith is the rule, does that same limit apply for faith—i.e., are there some things where only reason, not faith can tread?
3) On a similar note to (2), can one have faith in faithlessness? By that, I mean, can one have a religious faith in the invalidity of a faith? Is reason a form of faith? Is faith a form of reason?—and, if they both are, who's to say which is better? Also, if faith's ability to overcome reason is what makes it powerful, than doesn't reason's ability to overcome faith make it more powerful? Just as powerful? Less powerful?
4) Can reason and faith exist simultaneously in agreement without becoming undermined—i.e. I believe AND know something to be true? Can reason and faith exist simultaneously in discord without either being undermined—i.e., I do not believe that x is true, but I know it is, OR, I do not know that x is true, but I believe it is? Or do such contradictions undermine the integrity of faith and/or reason?
Just some thoughts...