Is there any conflict between reason and faith? According to one epistemological position known as fideism faith is independent of and hostile toward reason. How does fideism define faith? It defines faith as belief without evidence. According to some philosophers such as Kierkegaard, reason cannot fully comprehend God and so one must take a "leap of faith". Martin Luther said, "Reason receives life from faith." Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates concepts as derived from man's senses. The thinkers mentioned above did not categorically reject reason, but they clearly believed that faith has primacy over reason. That means that faith is primary and reason is secondary. There are 2 problems with this way of thinking:
The first problem comes from their definition of faith—"belief without evidence". As I wrote in my last post, this definition is incorrect. I will argue here that it is also dangerous. It is dangerous because any belief without evidence will insulate the believer from feedback from reality. If one holds the view that faith has primacy over reason, then if they must choose between reality and religion, they will choose religion over reality. They will not be able to identify truth when it contradicts with their beliefs. They will be blind and their spiritual and physical growth will be stunted. Islamic theocratic fascism is an extreme demonstration of the consequences of this view. Terrorists commit violent acts that reason would otherwise prevent them from doing.
The second problem is revealed by asking a simple question: How did they come to the conclusion that faith has primacy over reason? The answer is that they used reason. Therefore, they primarily rely on a concept that they regard as secondary. Therefore to say that faith has primacy over reason is self-refuting because they used reason to come to that conclusion.