HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 23 no. 1 (2022)

AN ANALYSIS OF KIERKEGAARD’S AND WITTGENSTEIN’S NOTIONS OF FAITH

Fernando M. Lopena Jr.

 

Abstract:

Faith in God can mean believing in God subjectively or believing in God objectively. Those who believe in God subjectively think that passion plays an important factor in having faith in God. Those who believe in God objectively think that reason plays an important factor in having faith in God. Both stances in having faith in God have problems. Can faith coming from passion be irrational? Can one be an honest religious thinker and still have genuine faith? This paper will give light to those questions by analyzing the notion of faith of these two great thinkers, Soren Aabye Kierkegaard and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although both great thinkers brought great illumination to the relationship between faith and reason, the paper ends in challenging Kierkegaard’s thinking that faith can be irrational at times, like what happened in his discussion of the story of Abraham in his work entitled “Fear and Trembling.” The paper also challenges Wittgenstein’s thinking that one should approach the reality of faith by using reason only with his ideal of the honest religious thinker, written in his work posthumously published under the title “Culture and Value,” by using Kierkegaard’s discussion of the passion of the infinite.