If there is such contradictions amoung the religious traditions then perhaps no religious teaching can be accepted as reasonable
Religon is full of assumptions and believes, where as science allegedly takes nothing for granted, has no beliefs and makes no assumptions.
Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are examples of this. They look for what religion is really there for – Marx: Oppression of the masses. Religions serves to distract workers away from their real task of correcting unjust conditions. If justice prevailed on earth, people who not seek religious consolations in the hereafter. Freud: that is serves to give manifestation to childish fears. People want gratification so badly that when they cannot find it in their present lives, they imagine its fulfillment in some other world.
Aquinas, Augustine, Boethius These all believed that is was UNREASONABLE to deny the existence of God. There are many other non Christian thinkers too – not the least is Aristotle and Plato.
Thinks do exist, thut there is no necessity that they exist. You and I exist, but we might well not have. Why then is there anything at all rather than nothing? None of the objects of our experience is the source of its own existence. Everything in our world depends upon and has received its existence from something other than itself. (You came from your parents, and they from theirs and so on). We must keep moving back further and further until we come to the source of all existence. There must be a self-existing wellspring of the world’s very being. That being is God. Telelogical argument on the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design, or direction — or some combination of these — in nature.
Every academic discipline gets off the ground only if those involved in such studies are personally motivated by faith in the worth and integrity of rational pursuit. In this sense reason and science are dependant on faith. Faith therefore provides the guide, for reason. Faith is the master, reason is the maidservant.
REL 101 Introduction to Religion
Criticisms of Religion
• “Doubt concerning basic religious
principles (as immortality, providence,
and revelation)” -- Merriam Webster Dictionary
• Skepticism asks the question “If
sacred reality is so real why isn’t
obvious to everybody?”
Three Levels of Skepticism
• Questions the reasonableness of
• Can people sincerely accept ideas
about the sacred in light of the
• Rationalism resists any mystical
notions about reality.
• It questions how various religions can
contradict one another.
• The only truth is that which can be
empirically proven (the scientific
• The scientific method is the only way
that our minds can understand the
• Religion is not scientifically
demonstrable. Therefore it is not a
reliable source of truth.
• There is more to religion than meets
• Religion is not only unreasonable and
unscientific but it is covering
• Religion is a dubious set of symbols
whose surface meaning cannot be
trusted or taken at face value. There
is a symbolic meaning that needs to
• Rationalism, scientism and suspicion
are all manifestations of the
projection theory of religion.
• Projection theory teaches that:
– Religious ideas are projections or
creations of our own wishes.
– Human fantasy, not a sacred being, is
origin of our ideas about sacred reality.
Is faith incompatible with reason?
• There are many religious thinkers who
Faith and Reason
• Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).
– Why does anything exist at all?
– If something exists it must have had a
source – God.
• William Paley (1743-1805).
– Best known for his arguments for the
existence of God in his work Natural
Theology, which made use of the
Reason’s Reliance on Faith
• Perhaps human reason and science
do not start out completely neutral.
• Prior to questioning and thinking, we
have already performed an act of faith
in that we believe that there is a
rationally comprehensible truth
existing in reality
• “We do not risk much of ourselves when we
accept that 2+2=4 or that the law of gravity
is correct. But it is difficult to accept the
religious view that a gracious mystery
encompasses one’s life without feeling a
deep challenge in such an intuition. Only
in taking the risk of radically trusting
mystery, and steering one’s life and
relationships accordingly, does one
religiously acknowledge its presence and
challenge.” –John Haught “What is Religion” p. 225