But at the end of the day must we come to a point where we give up on the rational? Are there things which we cannot accept rationally but have to accept on faith? And if so, how do we know where to draw the line?
New research seems to suggest that the more rational a person is, the less likely he or she is to be religious. I have no idea whether this actually means anything or not, but I am very sceptical about the methodology used (though I haven't been able to access the full paper, so perhaps it is the summary that is misleading, rather than the research.
For example, one of the ways they decided who is rational and who is intuitive was through the following question:
For example, students were asked this question: "A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?" The intuitive answer — 10 cents — would be wrong. A little math on the fly reveals that the correct answer would be 5 cents.
After answering three of these questions, the students were asked to rate a series of statements on belief, including, "In my life I feel the presence of the Divine," and "I just don't understand religion." Students who answered the three questions correctly — and presumably did a better job of engaging their analytical skills — were more likely to score lower on the belief scales.
So based on three questions like that, and vague answers to questions about "I feel the presence of the Divine..." they make a generalisation that intuitive people are more religious, but intellectual people are less religious. I'm not convinced (I know that was only a small part of the study, but to my mind that is completely meaningless, and doesn't make sense in a study like this at all).
On the other hand, (and quite ironically), intuitively it seems to me that someone who is less rational is more likely to be religious. On the other hand, rationally, it doesn't really make sense to me.
Were Rambam, Saadiah, Ralbag or Yitzchak Yisraeli not religious? When Rambam rejects the philosophy of Kalam because it contradicts Aristotle, is that not purely rational?
But looking at the world today, it does seem to me that Kiruv has got rid of most of the intellectual, rational potential baalei teshuva. It seems that today faith has to be based on dodgy fake science and cholent. No rational person will accept that for very long.