Involuntary Belief and the Command to Have Faith

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):181-192 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Richard Swinburne argues that belief is a necessary but not sufficient condition for faith, and he also argues that, while faith is voluntary, belief is involuntary. This essay is concerned with the tension arising from the involuntary aspect of faith, the Christian doctrine that human beings have an obligation to exercise faith, and the moral claim that people are only responsible for actions where they have the ability to do otherwise. Put more concisely, the problem concerns the coherence of the following claims: (1) one cannot have faith, (2) one has an obligation to have faith, and (3) ought implies can. To solve this dilemma, I offer three solutions that I believe have the philosophical resources to demonstrate the consistency of these claims. Thus, I defend the claim that it is logically possible for a person to be culpable for an involuntary failure to have faith in God.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Propositional Faith as a Mode of Belief and a Gift of God.Richard Creel - 1994 - Journal of Philosophical Research 19:243-256.
Can faith be a doxastic venture?Andrei A. Buckareff - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (4):435-445.
Faith as doxastic venture.John Bishop - 2002 - Religious Studies 38 (4):471-487.
Abraham, the faithless moral superhero.Howard J. Curzer - 2007 - Philosophy and Literature 31 (2):344-361.
Propositional faith: what it is and what it is not.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):357-372.
Faith, Faithfulness, and Virtue.Robert Audi - 2011 - Faith and Philosophy 28 (3):294-309.
The Nature of Faith.Keith E. Yandell - 1990 - Faith and Philosophy 7 (4):451-469.
Toward a Pragmatic Conception of Religious Faith.Joshua L. Golding - 1990 - Faith and Philosophy 7 (4):486-503.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-11-18

Downloads
149 (#126,626)

6 months
6 (#522,810)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Robert J. Hartman
Ohio Northern University

References found in this work

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
The problems of philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - New York: Barnes & Noble.
The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Portland, OR: Home University Library.

View all 24 references / Add more references