Fideism- A Critical Evolution

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Deka, Chandana
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This thesis attempts to critically evaluate issues related to fideism. Fideism as an idea upholds that in the issues of religion, reason has no or minimal place, and only faith matters. Some fideists hold that religious faith and reason are not compatible with each other. According to them, faith requires absolute certainty and personal commitment. That faith goes beyond rational justification. Therefore, it is not necessary to look for evidence or reason in religious beliefs. This stance puts fideism in a problematic spot many times. Fideism faces challenges from different philosophical positions, severely from rationalism and evidentialism. But fideism manages to deal with such challenges from the doctrinal dimension. The challenges to fideism concerning doctrinal dimension may be less or unsolvable sometimes. But the toughest challenge is how fideism deals with the other dimensions of religion, specifically the social and ethical dimensions of religious practices. I highlight these challenges in this thesis and contend that if fideism is to hold its position, it has to combat these criticisms without getting itself into dogmatism
Supervisor: Prabhu, V
Fideism, Faith, Reason, New Atheism, Pragmatic Rationality, Capability Approach.