Justifying Factors of Religious Beliefs’ Rationality
Keywords:Religion, Levels of Religious Belief, Rationality, Justifying Factors, Fundamental Beliefs.
There are different factors that can justify the rationality of religious beliefs. Some factors have epistemological virtues, and some have functional ones. Based on the inductive method, it is possible to use some justifying factors such as relying on logical demonstration, universality, and comprehensiveness; having more compatibility with people’s innate and common sense; more stability and less changeability; independence of religious texts’ authority; having more consensus among religious believers; simplicity and explainability; reducing errors in understanding them; dependency of religious texts on them; the basis for religious unity and plurality; independence of believers’ presuppositions; and having more practical and useful conclusions. Assessing religions based on the mentioned factors teaches us to focus on logical, universal, innate, coherent, and practical ones as the main characteristics of religious rationality. Applying these justifying factors also helps us to measure the rationality of religious beliefs at their three levels: fundamental, middle, and marginal. Considering the justifying factors pertaining to these three levels of religious belief, they show gradual and hierarchical relationships between them, with the fundamental beliefs having the highest level of rationality, the marginal beliefs having the lowest, and the middle ones having a level in between. The result is that, for establishing peaceful life and interfaith dialogue, we should focus on fundamental beliefs and have a reciprocal understanding of the middle ones.