Publication 2610

Gash H. (2010) Faith plays different roles. In: G. E. Lasker & K. Hiwaki (eds.) Personal and Spiritual Development in the World of Cultural Diversity. Vol VII. IIAS, Tecumseh Ontario: 15–20. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2610
Faith is a concept that straddles both spiritual and practical domains. We learn to expect things on the basis of experience. Learning involves moving from the known towards the unknown. Faith is always about something we have learned and it is like probability in that we may feel certain about some things and less sure of other things. However, current models of learning show how some of the things we learn may only have quite temporary viability: some of what we learn can be false. In addition, people differ manifestly in terms of both their personal confidence and their comfort with uncertainty concerning events. Further, faith differs in the roles it plays in science and in religion. This paper concurs with the view that some highly publicised attacks on religious faith are based on mistaken views of religion and faith. Relevance: Faith plays a central role in religion and faith also plays a role in science. This paper takes the position that faith needs to be examined carefully before it is put in place to justify beliefs so as to understand its role. In other words we need to move beyond “blind faith.”
Key words: Faith, science, religion

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