Sorry Folks,I am lost right at the beginning. I can't see any kind of mechanism or logical way in which faith can be a passing acquaintance with reason let alone a friend. Simply stating that it is a foundation simply seems to replace the word friend with the word foundation without explaining anything. Any chance of a 101 remedial class on this one for me?Regards,Psi
I'll try. When I used friend, I had in mind the third or fourth dictionary definition, "a familiar or helpful thing.” So the question is, might faith be something helpful to reason? Thus, it was no great leap to move from "friend" to "foundation". Certainly a foundation is a very "helpful thing."
Now, the first definition of faith is "complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” In that sense of the word, we all exercise faith every day of our lives. And without faith, our ability to reason would be quite limited. If I did not trust the findings of Einstein and Hubble, for instance, I would have no basis for the reasoned assumption that a Big Bang occurred about 13.7 billion years ago. If I did not exercise faith in history books and science, I would have no reason to believe anything happened prior to the year I was born and started taking my own notes. Faith is an absolutely essential stepping stone all along the pathway of reason.
Of course, I had in mind something more like the second definition of faith, "strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”. The rest of the post (and the WSJ essay) merely presented some evidence to suppose that faith is helpful to reason without attempting to establish a logical link. Apparently, the study cited demonstrated that people of faith are less likely to believe in superstitious and paranormal phenomena than the general public. On the face of it, that might suggest a more reality-based outlook, something I think we could agree is reasonable. (Tom, and others, have here suggested other valid explanations for this statistical trend. But also, in the comments, some suggested reasons why Christian faith might be helpful to reason.)
But let me pose this question to you: Assume (just for a moment!) that in back of this vast cosmos is an intelligent, personal, powerful being, God. If there is such a being, and I base my worldview upon the correct assumption that he exists, and you base your worldview upon the mistaken assumption that he does not, which of us will have the more "reasoned" approach to life and understanding.
For the sake of the discussion, let's assume this definition for reason from my dictionary, "what is right, practical, or possible; common sense.” If person A draws a correct conclusion, and person B draws an incorrect conclusion, who has the foundation to exercise better reason? (I realize this entire argument can be turned around)