An Analysis of Kierkegaard’s and Wittgenstein’s Notion of Faith

Conference: The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy (ACERP2022)
Title: An Analysis of Kierkegaard’s and Wittgenstein’s Notion of Faith
Stream: Religion - Theism and Atheism
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Fernando Lopena Jr., City College of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines


Faith is an essential dimension in becoming fully human. But then, the reality of faith poses many problems that can lead people to make irrational leaps of faith that turn out to be against God’s will. There are questions like “Can faith be unreasonable at times?” and “Can one be an honest religious thinker and still have genuine faith?” This paper will give light to these 2 questions by analyzing the notion of faith of 2 great thinkers, Soren Aabye Kierkegaard and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Although both great thinkers brought great illumination to the reality of faith, 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. The paper proposes that our propositions about God and about what we say God wills in our life can be falsified once we come to an agreement that the essence of our faith is the belief that God loves us.

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