KARL JASPERS FORUM
TA 115 (Lothane)
( BELIEF, FAITH, RELIGION )
by Gary Schouborg
29 May 2009, posted 13 June 2009
Being asked to comment on any writing of Zvi Lothane's is like being asked to review the Encyclopedia Britannica. Any overview is beyond my ability. However, a quick reading of his article on spirituality inspires two related observations:
1. Belief/faith is often, but not necessarily, to be identified with conviction. It also functions as a second-level heuristic expressed by St. Anselm's fides quaerens intellectum. I'm not a history scholar and can't attest to his intended meaning. But a possible one is that he meant to reference faith as a heuristic: the commitment that there is something worthwhile expressed in a belief (e.g., God exists, Jesus is God, science yields reliable truth), but that one must spend a lifetime understanding its riches. In faith of this sort, one is committed to the value of searching out the meaning, but one is not committed to any particular belief that emerges in the inquiry. For example, in believing that God exists, one is not committed to the childhood belief that God is just like a human only bigger and more powerful, who answers one's prayers in mysterious ways.
2. Religion provides structures that nurture and maintain faith. In its more spiritual function, religion nurtures and maintains faith as a heuristic, open-ended inquiry. In its pharisaical and idolatrous function, religion ossifies faith into dogmatic belief, so that an individual's development is arrested.
Gary Schouborg, PhD
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
e-mail<gary (at) garynini.com>