Here is the English abstract of Majid Qorbanali Doulabi (Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy and Mysticism, International University of Islamic Denominations, Iran)'s presentation at the 7nd pre-con meeting of the conference “Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue" which was held in International University of Islamic Denominations Tehran, Iran on December 4, 2023.
Argument of the Rationality of Religiosity in Islam and Other Divine Religions
One of the arguments that theists put forward for the rationality of belief in God is an argument known in Islamic tradition as the “rationality argument”. In this argument, a person is imagined to be calculating whether a life of faith is more beneficial and reasonable than a life of unbelief. The argument goes as follows: If the believers are right, then they will receive infinite gain, while the unbelievers will suffer infinite and irredeemable loss. If the unbelievers are right and there is no God, then believers and unbelievers will be equal and there will be no significant difference between them. This argument can be found in the words of Imam Reza, as well as in the words of Imam Ali and Imam al-Sadiq. It can also be found in the Quran. Moreover, the argument was used by the great Muslim theologian Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, and after him by the Christian thinker Blaise Pascal. The target audience of this argument is those who are neither certain of the existence of God nor of his non-existence, and who are in fact in doubt and confusion. For this reason, this argument is especially important in the present age, which is an age of skepticism about human knowledge and understanding of the supernatural. In this paper, different versions of this argument are examined, compared, and criticized.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi