Friday, March 2, 2018

"the gift of Christian faith"

"all of us enter upon philosophical argument bringing with us our pre-philosophical convictions and biases.  What faith enables us to recognize is the nature and influence of those convictions and biases as sources of error, something to which we are otherwise apt to be blind.  As a result we do not realize how difficult it is to become genuinely rational enquirers, to find the right starting point for philosophical enquiry, for we carry with us into our philosophical enquiries unrecognized prejudices and assumptions.  Part of the gift of Christian faith is to enable us to identify accurately where the line between faith and reason is to be drawn, something that cannot be done from the standpoint of reason, but only from that of faith.  Reason therefore needs Christian faith, if it is to do its own work well.  Reason without Christian faith is always reason formed by some other faith, characteristically an unacknowledged faith, one that renders its adherents liable to error."

     Alisdair MacIntyre, channeling Newman, in God, philosophy, universities: a selective history of the Catholic philosophical tradition (Lanham, MD:  Sheed & Ward, Rowman & Littlefield, 2009), 152-153.

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