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18 - Augustine attempted to legitimize the role of faith by...

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Augustine Augustine wished to incorporate Platonic elements into the Christian doctrine. He accepted the doctrine of the forms, but he did not adopt the standpoint of Greek rationalism altogether. In particular, he held that reason alone is not adequate for a knowledge. Religious faith is a prerequisite. So in effect, he held that upon adopting a certain belief on ordinarily inadequate evidence, one could gain the intellectual insight which Plato had sought. Augustine suggested that even knowledge of the Trinity, which by orthodox Christian accounts was a rationally elusive notion of a being which is three and yet one, is possible to one who has faith.
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Unformatted text preview: Augustine attempted to legitimize the role of faith by pointing out that the apparently lower standard of evidence involved in religious belief is not much different from standards of evidence relied upon in ordinary matters. We claim to know things about the past, but we must rely on memory, testimony, or records. We cannot, however, check the past directly because it is gone. In a similar vein, we have signs of religious truth that cannot be verified directly, but which nonetheless we are entitled to make a basis of religious belief....
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