Religion vs Reason – Essay Example

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The basic tenet of religion is revelation, which is simply the belief in information that cannot be verified and on belief that is never explained (Rolston, 77). The fact that there is a way in which some beliefs can just develop without some reasoning being involved is purely inconceivable. This is because, even where an individual opts to belief in one of the religious doctrines, dogmas or sacred texts, the individual does so on the basis of having evaluated the religious principles that are compatible with the personal beliefs and ideologies (Helm, 44).

This simply means that even in the choice of the religion and the belief to uphold, reason is always the basis, and thus reason becomes superior to religion, in explaining the world. Secondly, reasons is superior to religion in explaining the world, considering that it advocates for blind trust, while at the same time opening avenues for diverse interpretations of the religious texts and the scripture (Peterson, 54). This mixed provision of religion serves to indicate that reasoning is paramount, and thus it cannot be done away with, even in matters of religion.

While religion has fundamental principles that define the customs, beliefs and practices of religion, it has also opened a door for individual religious believers to interpret and apply the scripture and the religious doctrines in their own ways (Alston, 240). This explains why two different people can read the same part of the scripture or a sacred text, and then give totally different explanations regarding the same. In this respect, reason is allowed to take precedence over belief or any other religious principle, since it is only through reason that different individuals can manage to perceive a single concept and apply it differently.

Thus, if religion was purely based on beliefs, dogmas and sacred teachings, there could only be a single way of interpreting every part of the scripture or the sacred texts, considering that without reason, one thing will mean the same to everyone (Murphy, 236). The bottom-line of religion is that; it begins with belief, and then goes ahead to apply reason, through which the individual questions the aspect of belief and evaluates all the different aspects of the belief to finally settle for one position of belief, which the individual can then defend and reinforce with the religious texts and the scripture (Fields, n.p. ).

This religious procedure is created by the fact that most of the doctrines are ambiguous, leaving room for the individual believers to apply their own perceptions and opinions.

Works Cited

Alston, William. History of Philosophy of Religion. New York: Routledge, 1998. 238-248. Print.

Fields, Douglas. “Religion and Reason: Analytic thinking decreases religious belief.” Psychology Today, April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2014, from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-brain/201204/religion-and-reason

Helm, Paul, ed. Faith and Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Print.

Murphy, Nancey. Religion and Science. New York: Routledge, 1998. 230-236. Print.

Peterson, Michael. et al. Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Rolston, Holmes. Science and Religion: A Critical Survey. New York: Random House, 1987. Print.

Wolterstoff, Nicholas. Faith. London: Routledge, 1998. 538-544. Print.

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