Can the conflict between faith and reason ever be resolved?


Of course, this is a battle as old as human civilisation, but is there a hardening of positions (especially in the US) today? Question prompted by the eternal name-calling in the R&S section and the general tenor of the Presidential campaign.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, several years past, began a dialogue between Buddhism and science as he realized that if anything was discovered to be true that contradicted the teachings of Buddhism then Buddhism would have to adjust and adapt to the same.

Since this was begun, he has involved representatives of all other faiths and belief systems as well as all sciences that have been willing to attend.

If His Holiness can have the courage to do this, to seek truth even if it means some of what he previously believed would have to be left behind then there is great hope for others to do the same.

May you be well and amy we all be wise and courageous in following our own path.

Faith cannot conflict with reason any more than running can conflict with swimming. They simply different ways of doing things. Each can go places the other cannot, but it’s not too strange if they end up in the same place too.

So the real question is where you want to go and what’s the best way to get there. Whether the islands or the mountains are better is going to depend a lot on what the weather’s like, how many sharks and bears are lurking around, where your friends are, and whether you know the way.

In this way, each of us resolves the conflict for ourselves every day, and this doesn’t even mean we won’t have to resolve it again tomorrow. I think it’s just about as nonsensical that there’s one universally good path and destination as the notion that there’s a ‘best’ way to get from New York to Los Angeles no matter who is travelling, what’s going on, or even where the person happens to want to go.

There is no conflict. Faith and reason is as harmonious as two parts of the same thing.

Every problem in reason needs to be excised from the continuous space and time which it plays a roll. After it is cut out you may apply reason. Two people facing the same problem may cut differently to include more or less of the universe that contained the problem. Because of this we can have contradiction using valid arguments. In an argument about forests and lumber and engineer may use yield curves do determine maximum sustainable logging rate. A lumberman may only include his job and family. An ecologist would include species that live in old growth forests. The lumber company may only look as far as the next fiscal quarter.

The big limitation with logic is you must submit to reason and you must use models and knowledge which you have faithfully. This is a very good limitation I think. But some people may want something better and they could hold out. Spend more time thinking. What allows this pursuit is faith. The only logical reason to go beyond evidence at hand is that of probability, namely that you are fallible. So faith can deliver. Because there is a difference between right and wrong and better and worse.

No, they can compliment each other but can never be brought together. Faith is based on belief and feeling; reason is on thought and empirical facts. You can have faith in something that is not apparent, but it is difficult, if not impossible, to prove most faith with clear-cut, empirical evidence.
Knowing and believing are simply different things. I know that the clouds are made of water vapor that will eventually condense into rain. If i choose to believe that somewhere beyond those clouds there’s a heaven, i have no way of proving that, so, without proof, i cannot know it as a fact, even if i accept it to be true by faith.

If you consider a person from a holistic point of view, then there exists no conflict between faith and reason.

Faith relates to and emanates from a level of our being which is not governed by the brain.

Reason is proper to the mind of the person.

If you consider a person as a whole unit, and do not try to separate all of its parts, then you realize that all of the parts actually do work together, which means, no conflict. The conflict lies when one gives too much importance to the rationality part… because humans have a dose of instinct also, more pronounced in other animal forms of life, but we are made from the same matter.

Matter-energy is recognized by the mathematical logic of the senses; mind-reason intuitively knows its moral duty; spirit-faith (worship) is the religion of the reality of spiritual experience. These three basic factors in reflective thinking may be unified and co-ordinated in personality development, or they may become disproportionate and virtually unrelated in their respective functions. Reason is the proof of science, faith the proof of religion, logic the proof of philosophy.

P.1119 – ยง1 The reason of science is based on the observable facts of time; the faith of religion argues from the spirit program of eternity. What knowledge and reason cannot do for us, true wisdom admonishes us to allow faith to accomplish through religious insight and spiritual transformation.

Probably not.

Not to fret, things were just as bad during the old-timey elections. Thomas Jefferson was called the Antichrist. Lincoln was called all sorts of things. Neither McCain nor Obama are prophets or devils, either.

I believe they can actually peacefully co-exist. Some folks fault me for using that logic. But I do believe there was a creator and this creator gave us the ability to reason. And maybe that’s the cruel joke. A creator gave us the ability to reason and we can reason ourselves right out of our heads. We sometimes overthink and overanalyze everything instead of just having faith. I do envy folks who have an extremely strong sense of faith. Their lives appear to be much less complicated and less stressful. It sure takes a lot of energy to use reason and logic round the clock. And sometimes it even leads to insanity.

Resolution will be achieved when we recognize that there is no need for conflict between the two.

Without faith, reason is limited. And without reason, faith is baseless.

I choose to blend as many philophies into my thinking as possible, and try very hard to let polarity enter into anything…

No. They are totally opposed to each other. You can’t reconcile faith and logic any more than you can reconcile good and evil, or white and black. They are just opposite things.

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