Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Faith Before Reason?

I believe faith is the foundation for reason. Since one cannot reason apart from prior affirming by faith that reason reliably gives one truth. In other words, a faith commitment must be made for reason before one can reason.  If one denies this position, then he/she must show reason is the foundation for faith. However,  if this is the case,  then one cannot assume reason gives one truth.  Since such an assumption is a faith commitment. If one does not by faith assume the validity of reason one is left in skepticism. Nevertheless, some may still insist that one cannot make a commitment without first affirming reason to distinguish between faith and reason. I think such a criticism looses sight of the issue. It confuses between semantics and ontology. But even if I am wrong here, the problem still remains that the very thing in question is if one can affirm anything without a prior faith commitment. I wonder if my concerns can be put in a syllogism? Perhaps these will do?   

Modus tollens
1. If reason precedes faith then reason is affirmed by reason and not faith. 
2. Reason cannot be affirmed by reason (since it is viciously circular).
3. Therefore, reason cannot precede faith.


1. Either faith precedes reason, or reason precedes faith (This is based on the law of contradiction). 
2. Reason cannot precede faith (The very thing in question is if reason can be trusted without faith)
3. Therefore, faith precedes reason.

Yes, I draw this conclusion with reason, by faith, in the Triune God of Scripture.

Now some have tried to dodge the conclusion I have drawn by denying premise (2) in the first argument. They say it is not circular. I don't see how it isn't. It clearly begs the question. Maybe reason is taken as an axiom, like in Geometry, but then it is unprovable. Or maybe reason is just assumed arbitrarily. In either case, I don't see how my conclusion can be avoided. 

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