This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson

nalfeshnee's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by nalfeshnee

Luis quoth:

That presupposes that coherence is something foundational, that is something given a priori. If you posit that the word of God is more important than coherence, then you will excuse very easily these "small" details. And I'm not being pedantic, why do you think that the other pope talked about "fides et ratio"? Namely, faith goes beyond reason (transcendent).

It is one thing to posit that faith is a "basic belief" (in accordance with the foundationalism you mention).

It is quite another to suggest that it provides a complete and self-contained framework for understanding the world, as Wilson claims.

Put another way: if I hold faith to be a basic belief, then no-one can argue that my belief is irrational (greatly simplified).

However, I can't then turn this around to argue that my basic belief is the equivalent of a knowledge system.

Indeed, reformed epistemology (a specifically Christian branch of foundationalism) argues that faith supplements and extends reason. To mangle from a well-known beer commercial, "it refreshes the parts reason cannot reach".

It does not supplant it.

As the Pope said: "fides et ratio". Not "fides sive ratio" (or whatever, my Latin ain't what it used to was).

Anyway, further reading on Wilson seems to reveal him to be a homophobe and racist, so I would concur with Metch, above, and repeat his comment:

Although I always love hearing Hitchens speak, I hate debates that make the public believe that there is some sort of legitimacy to religious beliefs

And there is even less legitimacy than usual to Wilson's beliefs.

Tue, 08 Sep 2009 19:30:00 UTC | #395394