By Jose Ingacio Cabezon
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Additional resources for A Dose of Emptiness: An Annotated Translation of the sTong Thun Chen Mo of mKhas Grub dGe Legs Dpal Bzang
So having beliefs about X, even beliefs about Xs trustworthiness, is distinct from trusting X. For even if trusting is primarily an action, the doxastic component of faith and the worthwhileness of faith do not ensure the occurrence of the action, since weakness of will may prevent this. I shall spend some time on all of these points in subsequent chapters, but I shall bring this chapter to a close by saying something briefly about each of them. Trust in God is necessarily oriented to the future, though it may be based on what has gone before, on what God has promised, or even on something that is metaphysically necessary, such as God's immutability, which bears on the satisfaction of some need or desire that I have.
According to this concept of faith, faith is inherently risky, not because there is in fact little evidence and more would be desirable, but because evidence is in some way inappropriate for faith. Faith, at least in those areas of life where it ought to operate, supplants or expels rational belief, belief based upon evidence. Tertullian is reputed to have said that the death of the Son of God is certain because it is impossible. According to another member of this family the strength of faith ought not to be proportional to the degree of belief, but it ought in some way to make up for the lack of evidence for the belief.
Kenny may not be altogether fair to Plantinga here. For Plantinga counters the objection from permissiveness by making a distinction between evidence and grounds. Although a person need not have reasons (in the form of evidence) for his belief in God in order for that belief to be rational, nevertheless he would be irrational in his belief that God exists if that belief were not appropriately grounded. The groundedness of his belief that God exists shows that this belief is not arbitrary or whimsical.
A Dose of Emptiness: An Annotated Translation of the sTong Thun Chen Mo of mKhas Grub dGe Legs Dpal Bzang by Jose Ingacio Cabezon