The difference between illogical and irrational.
Some of you will have noticed that I've done this topic before.
Well I'm doing it again, but better this time!
The difference between Irrational and Illogical
By the way I use the terms reason and logic as interchangeable. I've tried to come up with a difference that sticks but haven't found one.
I think I have.
If I was to say that someone's beliefs were irrational, I'd be saying that they weren't reasoning or thinking.
If I was to say that someone's beliefs were illogical then I'd be saying that there's a logical flaw in their beliefs. (doesn't say anything about them in person)
So rational is an evaluation of the person's efforts to attain the belief and logical is an evalution of the beliefs themselves.
I think people generally perceive this difference too.
People use the word 'rational' in everyday language and will call someone irrational if they're not thinking. 'Logical' is more associated with strict science and if someone is called illogical then they'll likely associate that with being a fallible human rather than a mathematical robot!
How a theist's illogical beliefs can be rational
I think we agree that theism is illogical so if you have fully analysed/understood what theism is then holding the belief would be irrational. (acting against reason)
So can someone rationally hold an illogical belief?
We don't apply logical methods to every belief we get.
Our intuition deals with most of them. If our intuition says fine then we usually accept a belief without a second thought. If our intuition rings an alarm bell then we stop and start applying methods of critical thinking.
Theistic arguments specialise in appealing to the intuition.
Because we can't apply scepticism to every belief we come across it's perfectly rational to believe things that our intuition has ok'd.
This isn't saying that intuition proves a belief, just that intiution justifies us holding it until reasoning shows us that it was mistaken.
So our intuition can mislead us but we are justified in following it until reason tells us otherwise.
We usually start applying reason to something we believed when we find a problem with it. Perhaps you find you have two beliefs that clash or something your friend believes strongly clashes with something you believe. That's when we have a good reason to analyse these beliefs further - see where the problem lies.
Then we might find that a belief that our intuition ok'd was actually groundless and we have to reject it.
To apply this to theism:
Someone finds belief in a theistic God intuitive.
They are rationally justified in keeping this belief until it has been analysed and shown to be illogical.
That's not to say that a large number of the many theists out there aren't irrational in their belief, just that we judge by their arguments rather than their 'label'.
(I think I got it right this time... definately a step forward from last time! )