Can Faith Ever Be Rational?

An NPR discussion by Tania Lombrozo motivated by the work of Lara Buchak, her paper available here.

My concern in this paper is the relationship between faith and rationality. I seek to develop a unified account of statements of faith concerning mundane matters and those concerning religious faith. To do so, I consider the sense in which faith requires going beyond the evidence, and argue that faith requires terminating the search for further evidence. Having established this, I turn to the question of whether it can still be rational to have faith; arguing that, contrary to common assumptions, there need be no conflict between faith and rationality. We shall see that whether faith can be practically rational depends both on whether there are extrinsic costs associated with postponing the decision to have faith and the extent to which potential counter evidence would be conclusive.

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