07 Sep Believing God. An Account of Faith As Personal Trust
The affective view of faith, as opposed to the doxastic or cognitive view, giving more importance to the goodwill than to belief content, has received much support in recent philosophy of religion, including from Richard Swinburne. Swinburne’s concept of faith is no less rational than his concept of religious belief, but its rationality is that of action or of a practically oriented attitude, aiming at the goals of religion, compatible with religious disbelief (belief that the religious content one has faith in is probably false) and even with atheism. I argue this paradoxical stance, which hardly squares with the Christian tradition, can be avoided, while keeping to an affective view of faith, if we give more weight to the idea that faith is firstly an answer given to a telling, on the basis of personal trust of the hearer in the authority of the teller – a personal account as opposed to a propositional account of faith.