There are 6 thoughts on “Some Notes on Faith and Reason”.

  1. This all became much clearer to me when I came to better understand our dual nature of mind and heart (or brain and spirit). The brain is, to use an electrical analogy, an ungrounded instrument, in that its connections to the universe are all fallible. The unaided mind is not capable of knowing the truth of any matter; the theoretical best it can achieve, to borrow the words of physicist Richard Feynman, is to say, “I’m not wrong yet”. This is true even in the question of mathematical proofs, as such proofs necessarily rely on unprovable assertions.

    The spirit, or heart, on the other hand, has reliable connections to the Light of Christ and the influence of the Holy Ghost, and is capable of discerning truth from error. The combination of the mind and heart is far more powerful than either of the two in isolation. I believe it is for this reason that Brigham Young gave Karl G. Maeser the counsel, “You must not attempt to teach even the alphabet or the multiplication table without the Spirit of God. That is all.” It also justifies President Uchtdorf’s admonition to doubt our doubts, as they arise generally in the intellect, and trust our faith, as it arises in our spirits.

  2. If the concept of God’s purpose in creating mankind is to just make some eternal worshippers, the need for them to be obedient is clear but it is not obvious why God would care about their intelligence. But in the Restored Gospel, we understand that God the Father is seeking to make us resemble him, and since he is the smartest person in the universe, we need to develop our thinking power along with our other nascent god-like attributes of love and character and faith.

  3. “Faith, rightly understood, does not involve any surrender of one’s critical intellectual powers, nor is it tantamount to the acceptance of things on the basis of no evidence. What [TV show host] Bill Maher characterizes as ‘faith’ is nothing but superstition or credulity or intellectual irresponsibility. It is an ersatz ‘knowing’ that falls short of the legitimate standards of reason. Real faith is not infra-rational but rather supra-rational. That is to say, not below reason but above reason and inclusive of it. It is beyond reason precisely because it is a response to the God who has revealed himself, and God is, by definition, beyond our capacity to grasp, to see, fully to understand. If you are ever tempted to agree with Bill Maher on the nature of faith, I would invite you to read any page of Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Henry Newman, C.S. Lewis, or G.K. Chesterton and honestly ask yourself the question, ‘Does this sound like someone who has suspended his critical faculties?'”

    —Father Robert Barron, Catholic priest and rector/president of Mundelein Seminary, 16 June 2014

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