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The Logic of Faith

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Faith, though considered by many as desirable, is notoriously difficult to define. 'Faith' may mean that a person has appropriate self-esteem, or confidence based upon a rational assessment of capabilities, potential, etc. But we also think it desirable that a person should have a kind of confidence about the value of living that is not at all based on any kind of propositional truth. In this article I will consider the meaning of faith, particularly of the latter kind, with reference to: (1) meanings of faith; (2) forms of language, since the language of religious belief expresses some kind of evaluation or attitude; and (3) criteria of appropriateness. There is nothing particularly virtuous in believing what evidence assures us on other grounds to be the case. If faith were taken as a disposition to believe things to be true without any evidence, it would be a vice. Faith is a virtue in the sense of being able and willing to make loving and trustful investments in the world, to formulate appropriate pictures of it, adopt certain attitudes towards it, and evaluate it in certain ways.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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