Wednesday 9 December 2015

A little skirmish on faith and reason

Australian philosopher Nick Trakakis has written a piece on why he is no longer a Christian. He has come to believe that faith is incompatible with an inquiring philosophical mind. In response, I wrote a piece arguing that faith gives fullness to reason.


Josh said...

Almost every claim Trakakis makes in the "Against Christianity" section of the (too long?) piece is wrong. No serious Christian theologian thinks God is "one and three" in some sort of contradictory sense. Kierkegaardians don't ignore the paradoxes at the heart of Christianity (it's kind of their thing). The meaning of logical principles like identity are only obvious if you don't examine them. That Jesus is God is not merely a "modern-day preconception about the relationship between God and the world." Christian metaphysics is not "dualist" in any sense that would deny ordered degrees of participation. If anything, neo-platonism is far more "dualist" than Nicene orthodoxy. Plotinus' One is absolutely distant. Bart Ehrman is not a metaphysician.

I say *almost* every claim, though, since Trakakis is probably right that "[a] little bit of philosophy, and history of philosophy, goes a long way towards demystifying the divinity or divinisation of Jesus." Yes, try Rowan Williams' Arius book, for instance.

I mean, c'mon... this is terrible stuff.

brian said...


I like your article, but I concur with Josh.
Trakakis managed to be both prolix and tendentious.
Not a hard feat, perhaps, but surely he begged the question on the nature of metaphysics, sufficient reason, and a host of other matters. One can sympathize with many of his irritations, but his inquiry is not a model for honest openness to complex reality.

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