Problem

Competition between reason and faith

Other Names:
Separation of faith and reason
Claim:
With the rise of the first universities, theology came more directly into contact with other forms of learning and scientific research_. As a result of the exaggerated rationalism of certain thinkers, positions grew more radical and there emerged eventually a philosophy which was separate from and absolutely independent of the contents of faith. Another of the many consequences of this separation was an ever deeper mistrust with regard to reason itself. In a spirit both sceptical and agnostic, some began to voice a general mistrust, which led some to focus more on faith and others to deny its rationality altogether. In short, what for Patristic and Medieval thought was in both theory and practice a profound unity, producing knowledge capable of reaching the highest forms of speculation, was destroyed by systems which espoused the cause of rational knowledge sundered from faith and meant to take the place of faith. (Papal Encyclical, Fides et Ratio, 14 September 1998).
Counter Claim:
There is thus no reason for competition of any kind between reason and faith: each contains the other, and each has its own scope for action. _ The desire for knowledge is so great and it works in such a way that the human heart, despite its experience of insurmountable limitation, yearns for the infinite riches which lie beyond, knowing that there is to be found the satisfying answer to every question as yet unanswered_The results of reasoning may in fact be true, but these results acquire their true meaning only if they are set within the larger horizon of faith_.The fundamental harmony between the knowledge of faith and the knowledge of philosophy is once again confirmed. Faith asks that its object be understood with the help of reason; and at the summit of its searching reason acknowledges that it cannot do without what faith presents. (Papal Encyclical, Fides et Ratio, 14 September 1998).
Problem Type:
J: Problems Under Consideration
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Date of last update
24.04.1999 – 00:00 CEST