Sixth Form Academy Talk
Categories: Archived News
Is Religious Belief Irrational?
On 10 May St Mary’s was lucky enough to be visited by Dr Genia Schӧnbaumsfeld, who gave an insightful and somewhat daring talk on ‘Is Religious Belief Irrational?’ She very systematically defined the nature of belief, using the philosophy of Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. She demonstrated that what we learn from our teachers or our textbooks we hold to be true, and that this belief is thought to be rational because it has an empirical basis. However, Dr Schӧnbaumsfeld went on to explain that we cannot be certain of the existence of anything using scientific proof or our senses and that this is a central question that has gone unsolved by philosophers for thousands of years. She then posed the central question of her talk: can we approach religious questions with the same criteria as the external world. Dr Schӧnbaumsfeld’s visit was extremely thought-provoking and left us questioning whether any belief was truly rational.
Sophie Sheerin, LVI