Just saw an Australian author, Les Crompton (I think his surname was), uttering the common fallacy that “all [religious] faiths are antithetical (I think the adjective was; or anathema) to analysis”.

I wonder who told him that? Did he analyse that belief to determine if it was true? How many people who believe this assertion have analysed it to determine if it’s true?

All the people I know who think that faith and reason (and science) are not incompatible have a religious faith. In my experience, it is people with no religious faith who most loudly propagate the assertion that faith and reason don’t mix. Bu they themselves have a faith; it includes the proposition that God doesn’t exist. In fact, some intransigent people, despite multiple debates with intelligent and well-studied opponents, still refuse to abandon the fallacy. Who then is irrational?

When we’re young, and especially when we’re at school, all of us believe what we’re told. Who among us questions that the Earth is eight light minutes away from the sun, or that Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, or the chemical tag for common salt is NaCl?

All of us believe assertions that we don’t analyse, and some people do hold specific religious beliefs that they don’t analyse, or whose authorities command trust without question or independent thought. But I have a religious faith that includes the following assertions: God created our minds; and Jesus said that the greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Moreover, the New Testament asserts that the Bereans were commended for examining “the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). How can God say “Let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) or ask rhetorically “Who…gave understanding to the mind?” (Job 38:36) and then command us not to think?

As Galileo said, I do not believe that the God who gave us mind, sense and reason did not intend for us to use them.

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