My Philosophy Capstone Essay - A Defense of Reason

I argue that faith (belief without evidence) is unjustified and that it is important to arrive at justified true beliefs that can be acquired through an entirely reason-based process.

I tackle various issues in my paper such as:
  • why holding justified true beliefs is important
  • what properties of the belief-generating and reasoning process are important
  • a criteria of adequacy to follow that can help establish truth value when competing claims offer different explanations
  • various 'myths of reason' and how to respond to skeptical problems such as why we should believe in other persons and that the world exists
  • when and why we should accept expert opinion
  • how we can justify 'first principles' such as modus ponens, modus tollens, induction, non-contradiction, and the idea that evidence leads to justified true belief
This project is the result of much reflection during the past two years, reading lots of philosophy, listening to discussion between theists and atheists, having live discussions with theists, and many of my ideas coming together into one unified paper.