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In the Name of God بسم الله
SoRoUsH

The Legacy of Islamic Philosophy

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1 hour ago, .InshAllah. said:

I havent read the article (yet) but this quote implies that religion is not rational

There's the fundamental distinction between faith and reason. All religions, Islam included, require faith. So, religions could be different in how reasonable they are, but none of them can be the outcome of only rational thinking. 

Edited by SoRoUsH

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53 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

There's the fundamental distinction between faith and reason. All religions, Islam included, require faith. So, religions could be different in how reasonable they are, but none of them can be the outcome of only rational thinking. 

In Philosophy there are two types of rationality that are discussed.  

1. Epistemic rationality, which is what people usually mean when they talk about rationality, is concerned with truth.

2.  Pragmatic rationality is concerned with a particular end.  For example, Pascal's wager argues that it is rational to believe in God based on a particular end (happiness).  The rationality here is pragmatic, not epistemic.

Whether a belief-forming process is epistemically rational or not depends on whether it is aimed at truth.  If we come to believe in God based on the Fitra, then we are rational, because the Fitra is a reliable source of beliefs.  The atheist naturally disagrees, but that's just unfortunate for him.

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7 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

Whether a belief-forming process is epistemically rational or not depends on whether it is aimed at truth.  If we come to believe in God based on the Fitra, then we are rational, because the Fitra is a reliable source of beliefs.  The atheist naturally disagrees, but that's just unfortunate for him.

  1. How is a belief based on Fitra rational?
    • What justifies it as rational? 
  2. How is the belief in Fitra rational itself? 
    • What is the rational, non-faith based, argument for the existence of Fitra?

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1.  Given the definition of rationality as being aimed at truth. 

2.  There are 2 different approaches to take here.  One is 'internalist' and makes justification dependent on what is internally accessible to the subject.  The leading internalist account of justification says something like: x is justified if it seems that x.  For example, what justifies moral truths, or metaphysical truth such as 'the external world is real' is that it seems that they are true

The second approach to justification is 'externalist' and makes at least some of the features of justification external to the subject ie. Not internally accessible to us.  One account says that it has to be the output of a properly functioning mind for example.

 

I think your issue is assuming there always has to be some kind of philosophical or scientific argument.  This only leads to an infinite regress

Edited by .InshAllah.

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1 hour ago, .InshAllah. said:

1.  Given the definition of rationality as being aimed at truth. 

2.  There are 2 different approaches to take here.  One is 'internalist' and makes justification dependent on what is internally accessible to the subject.  The leading internalist account of justification says something like: x is justified if it seems that x.  For example, what justifies moral truths, or metaphysical truth such as 'the external world is real' is that it seems that they are true

The second approach to justification is 'externalist' and makes at least some of the features of justification external to the subject ie. Not internally accessible to us.  One account says that it has to be the output of a properly functioning mind for example.

 

I think your issue is assuming there always has to be some kind of philosophical or scientific argument.  This only leads to an infinite regress

I don't see how your #1 answers my first question. Please elaborate. 

I'll ask them again: 

  1. How is a belief based on Fitra rational?
    • What justifies it as rational? 

Here's a different way of asking the same question: 

  • Can you provide an argument that indicates that a belief based on Fitra isn't faith-based? 
    • In other words, can you show that a belief based on Fitra is unrelated to faith?

The objection against internalism is that its principles are subjective and relative to the individuals' unique circumstances. An individual can view belief X as rational and true, but the same claim X may be far from justified for another individual. The internalist position wouldn't permit belief X to be objectively evaluated. 

The externalist position allows beliefs to be examined objectively by all individuals. So, Belief X is either justified for all or none. Examining Belief X would become a scientific endeavor. 

 

Yes, I do expect arguments for any and all beliefs that are supposedly rational and non-faith based. 

So, I'll ask again, since you didn't present an argument: 

  1. How is the belief in Fitra rational itself? 
    1. What is the rational, non-faith based, argument for the existence of Fitra?

It is absolutely unclear to me how you can rationally (without requiring faith) justify the following statement: 

 "If we come to believe in God based on the Fitra, then we are rational, because the Fitra is a reliable source of beliefs."

 

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Yes, I do expect arguments for any and all beliefs that are supposedly rational and non-faith based. 

I answered your questions already, but either I wasnt clear, or you didnt think carefully about what I said (probably the former).  So I will address the above quote, and hopefully that sheds more light on what I was saying about the nature of justification and rationality.

As I mentioned earlier, always requiring an argument leads to an infinite regress: 

You believe in x, but in order to be rational in believing x, you need an argument with premises y.  

But in order to be rational in believing y you need an argument with premises z.  

But in order to be rational in believing z you need an argument with premises p... ad inifinitum

You have to stop at some point, and where you stop is either justified or it isn't.  If it isn't, then no belief is rational, as all beliefs will be based on unjustified foundations.  If where you stop is rational, then you have a set of beliefs that are rational without further argument.  Therefore it isnt necessary for a belief to be based on argument, for it to be rational.

The next question is what justifies this belief?  My answer is the same thing that justifies belief in moral truths, logical truths and fundamental metaphysical truths that arent based on any arguments, but are just obviously true.

A psychopath can deny the truths of morality, but if they do this they are just wrong.  A psychotic patient can deny the truths of metaphysics, but theyre just wrong.  An atheist can deny the truths about God, but theyre just wrong.

Thats not to say we cant provide arguments for God, but just that arguments arent necessary for rationality.

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16 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

u believe in x, but in order to be rational in believing x, you need an argument with premises y.  

But in order to be rational in believing y you need an argument with premises z.  

But in order to be rational in believing z you need an argument with premises p... ad inifinitum

This isn't accurate. To argue for X, you can use premises that are acceptable or self-evident. Only if you employ unjustified premises to support a conclusion, then, of course, the premises need to be examine. This is precisely the point of logic and critical thinking; in-depth analysis of argument to determine their strength and/or validity. 

18 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

You have to stop at some point, and where you stop is either justified or it isn't.  If it isn't, then no belief is rational, as all beliefs will be based on unjustified foundations.

Firstly, Cartesian Foundationalism or any of its derivatives seek self-evident beliefs that can in turn be used as foundations for building arguments. Secondly, you cannot arbitrarily choose a stopping point and then pretend that your argument is rational, "but an atheist will never understand." The reason that the atheist disagrees is because at some point a premise is faith-based and irrational. Most atheists aren't stupid. If they see  legitimate arguments where premises support the conclusion then they'll consider it.

22 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

 If where you stop is rational, then you have a set of beliefs that are rational without further argument.  Therefore it isnt necessary for a belief to be based on argument, for it to be rational.

If where you stop is arbitrary, then it is not rational. You must justify your decision to stop at a specific premise. You cannot merely claim "ad infinitum" at an arbitrary place and assume that others must agree with you, and if they don't they're irrational. 

It is absolutely necessary for a belief to be based on an argument, if that belief is supposedly rational and not faith-based. 

25 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

My answer is the same thing that justifies belief in moral truths, logical truths and fundamental metaphysical truths that arent based on any arguments, but are just obviously true.

This is obviously a huge problem or short-coming on your end. This is precisely why Descartes's Foundationalism doesn't work, because he takes certain beliefs to be self-evident and "obviously true," when others disagree about them and don't consider them self-evident. 

Plus your confidence in the existence of moral, logical, and metaphysical truths is confounding. There are and have been arguments that clearly rejects the existence of such truths. There's nothing self-evident about their existence, unless you rely on faith and hold them as unquestionable dogmas, which in turn makes belief in them faith-based and not rational. 

30 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

A psychopath can deny the truths of morality, but if they do this they are just wrong.  A psychotic patient can deny the truths of metaphysics, but theyre just wrong.  An atheist can deny the truths about God, but theyre just wrong.

This statement has a hint of arrogance to it. Not only psychopaths deny the truths of morality. Highly intelligent contemporary and non-contemporary philosophers have denied their existence, too, and they were certainly not psychopaths. Unless you believe that whoever disagrees with what you see as self-evident is a psychopath. 

"but they're just wrong." Really? Is this a rational approach? You need to provide sufficient evidence or strong arguments to show how they're wrong. You can't just claim "they're just wrong." 

33 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

arguments arent necessary for rationality.

Arguments are absolutely necessary for rationality. 

31 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

How are you defining faith?

A faith-based belief is a belief that is believed without a rational argument. 

When you have faith in X, you believe X is true regardless of arguments for or against it. 

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To argue for X, you can use premises that are acceptable or self-evident. 

What does 'acceptable' mean?

What does 'self evident' mean?

Self evident to whom?  Acceptable to whom?

 

Quote

 

Arguments are absolutely necessary for rationality. 

 

 
And yet you just denied that in the quote above...?
Edited by .InshAllah.

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11 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

"but they're just wrong." Really? Is this a rational approach? You need to provide sufficient evidence or strong arguments to show how they're wrong. You can't just claim "they're just wrong." 

47 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

And yet youve just said there are truths that are 'self evident' and 'acceptable' that arent based on arguments.

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2 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

What does 'acceptable' mean?

What does 'self evident' mean?

Self evident to whom?  Acceptable to whom?

 

 
And yet you just denied that in the quote above...?

An acceptable premise is one which audience, whoever you're trying to convince, agrees with or believes already.

A self-evident premise is one that all parties agree with, and there is no disagreement about it.

 

Please read my post carefully. 

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2 minutes ago, .InshAllah. said:

And yet youve just said there are truths that are 'self evident' and 'acceptable' that arent based on arguments.

There are or there may be. 

But it's not up to you to determine what they are.

If they're self-evident, then everyone agrees with them, atheists and theists. 

Acceptable premises don't need arguments, because whoever that is your audience already accepts it. 

Please read my posts carefully. 

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3 minutes ago, SoRoUsH said:

An acceptable premise is one which audience, whoever you're trying to convince, agrees with or believes already.

A self-evident premise is one that all parties agree with, and there is no disagreement about it.

 

Please read my post carefully. 

The problem with this is that you have tied rationality to what other people believe.  So in a 'possible world' in which all people believe the Sun is made of cheese based on the fact that it is yellow, you would be irrational to disagree.   True?

Secondly, where is the argument that consensus of opinion = acceptable and rational?  You say there is always an argument for rational beliefs, so where is the argument for this?

Thirdly, there is never complete consensus on any belief.  You will find people who deny any belief you deem self evident or acceptable.  So your criterion is never met in practice.  Perhaps you want to weaken it to say 'most people', but the above 2 arguments still apply, and since when is truth determined by what most people believe?

واكثرهم للحق كارهون

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