The Moral and Evidential Requirements of Faith

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1):117-142 (2020)
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Abstract

What is the relationship between faith and evidence? It is often claimed that faith requires going beyond evidence. In this paper, I reject this claim by showing how the moral demands to have faith warrant a person in maintaining faith in the face of counter-evidence, and by showing how the moral demands to have faith, and the moral constraints of evidentialism, are in clear tension with going beyond evidence. In arguing for these views, I develop a taxonomy of different ways of irrationally going beyond evidence and contrast this with rational ways of going against evidence. I then defend instances of having a moral demand to have faith, explore how this stands in tension with going beyond and against evidence, and develop an argument for the claim that faith involves a disposition to go against, but not beyond evidence.

Author's Profile

Finlay Malcolm
University of Manchester

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