Most understandable and indisputable is the universal need for positive scientific knowledge of the laws of the external world. … Today we observe the unparalleled development of the exact sciences, to which no end is in sight. However, no matter how well-developed, positive science will always remain limited by its object — it studies only fragments of a reality that widens constantly beyond the eyes of the scientist. The problem of full and complete knowledge in the world of experience is in general insoluble and incorrectly posed. … The development of positive science is itself infinite, but this infinity is at once its strength and weakness: a strength in that there is not and cannot be a specified limit to science in its forward movement, a weakness in that this infinity of movement hinges precisely on the ability of reason to solve once and for all its task — provide
knowledge. … Since, arguing purely mathematically, all finite quantities lose significance in comparison with infinity, no matter how much their absolute values differ, it is possible to say that positive science is no close now to the task of giving
knowledge than it was centuries ago or will be centuries from now.
But man must have an
idea of the world. We cannot agree to wait patiently for the fulfillment of this need until science, sometime in the future, provides enough material;
and we must also obtain answers to questions that fall completely outside the field of vision of positive science and of which it cannot even be aware.
Apostol Paul: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
The basic claims of religion are at the same time the ultimate conclusions of metaphysics, conclusions that are thus justified before reason. But religion, as such, … has its own method of immediately and intuitively receiving the truths it needs. And this method of intuitive knowledge (if only «knowledge» is applicable here, inextricably connected as it is with discursive thought and, consequently, with proof and demonstrability)
Faith is a mode of knowledge without proof, “the substance of thingth hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” in the splendid characterization of the apostle Paul. The indisputability or incontestability of claims that are, as objects of proof, replete with all the doubts and precariousness intrinsic to our knowledge, constitutes the distinctive feature of all religious truths (regadless of whether we are concerned with theistic or atheistic religions), …
As a result of these peculiarities, the sphere accessible to faith is wider than the sphere accessible to discursive thought. It is possible to believe even in that which not only is demonstratable, but cannot be made fully comprehensible to reason, and this sphere is the special domain of faith. Examining the matter exclusively from the formal side, we must therefore say that the knowledge (no matter how little appropriate, to repeat, this word is here)
faith gives is richer and broader than that which empirical science and metaphysics give: if metaphysics breaks the limits of empirical knowledge, then faith nullifies the limits of the intelligible. …
Thus, man cannot be satisfied by exact science alone, to which positivism hoped to limit him;
metaphysical and religious needs are ineradicable and have never been removed from the life of man. Precise knowledge, metaphysics, and religion must exist in a certain harmonoious relation, the establishment of which always constitutes the task of philosophy. …