Ideology & Ism


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Feelosofi –  Fideism is a flow in philosophy and religious thought that emphasizes beliefs based on strong faith and belief, without having to rely on evidence or rational reason. This concept is rooted in the idea that faith is the most fundamental thing in human life, and sometimes, this involves the sacrifice of reason or compelling empirical evidence. Fideism is the understanding that belief in spiritual and religious matters often exceeds the limits that can be achieved by human reason.

One of the famous figures in developing the concept of fideism is Søren Kierkegaard, a 19th century Danish philosopher . Kierkegaard views that true belief in religion requires a “leap of faith” where an individual chooses to believe without clear evidence. He emphasized that human existence is a complex irony, and faith is a way to overcome the uncertainties and paradoxes in life.

While fideism offers a strong approach to religion, it has also had strong criticism from more rationalist thinkers . They argue that without a strong basis in reason or empirical evidence , religious beliefs may tend to be subjective and difficult to teach or prove to others. Despite this, fideism remains a subject of interesting discussion in the study of religion and philosophy , and continues to influence the religious views and spiritual lives of many individuals throughout the world.

What Is Fideism?

Fideism In History

Fideism is a school of thought that has been present and developed in the history of human thought, especially in the realms of religion and philosophy . Although the concept has received scrutiny and debate over the centuries, several distinctive historical periods and figures have played a role in the development and understanding of fideism.

One of the important periods in the history of fideism is the Middle Ages. In this era, thinkers such as Augustine of Hippo, a figure in the early Catholic Church, played an important role in promoting the idea that faith was the most important thing in religion. Augustine argued that human reason is limited in understanding the mysteries of faith, and that a strong belief in God is the essence of spiritual life.

Additionally, in the 19th century, Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher , became a central figure in the development of fideism. Kierkegaard popularized the concept of a “leap of faith” which underscores the importance of faith that cannot be explained rationally. He viewed that to achieve true understanding of religion, humans must be prepared to abandon rational doubt and choose to believe unconditionally.

Over the course of history, fideism has also emerged in the context of various religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Among religious figures, there are individuals who emphasize the importance of a deep belief in God and the teachings of their religion, even when empirical evidence or reason may be less supportive.

Fideism, despite harsh criticism from rationalist thinkers , remains relevant in the history of human thought. This concept has played a role in shaping the religious views and morality of a number of individuals and religious groups, and has been the subject of interesting debate in philosophy and theology. In various historical periods, fideism has made important contributions to understanding the complexity of human faith and belief.

Belief Without Evidence

One of the essences of fideism is belief without clear or firm evidence. This school of thought teaches that in the case of religion, true belief often exceeds the capacity of human reason and cannot always be justified through empirical evidence or rational arguments. In this context, belief becomes the main basis in directing individuals to a deep relationship with matters of a spiritual or religious nature.

Fideism emphasizes that deep beliefs in religion are often closely related to personal experiences and individual relationships with God or transcendental things. When individuals feel a strong personal connection to spiritual reality, conventional evidenceless beliefs are often sufficient to form the basis of their beliefs. In this context, experience and deep faith become a more important source of legitimacy than rational argument or empirical evidence .

However, it is important to remember that belief without evidence is also a weak point in fideism, as it allows for a variety of interpretations and views that may conflict with each other. Some critics of fideism argue that without a strong basis in rationality or empirical evidence , religious beliefs can be highly subjective and difficult to test or teach to others. However, in the view of adherents of fideism, this actually reflects the true nature of faith, which contains elements of uncertainty and deep belief in a transcendental or divine reality.

Implications Of Fideism

Limitations Of Reason

One of the fundamental implications of fideism is the recognition of the limitations of human reason in understanding things that are transcendental or divine. Fideism believes that human reason has clear limits when trying to rationalize or prove the reality related to religious beliefs. This leads to a number of important implications in the context of fideism.

First, the limitations of reason require individuals to rely on faith and belief as the main guide in religion. This means that beliefs in God, spiritual values, or religious teachings are often based on a deep foundation of faith, without the need to rely on empirical evidence or firm rational arguments. The implication is that individuals must be willing to take a “leap of faith” or take risks in accepting things that cannot always be explained logically.

Second, the limitations of reason also highlight the complexity and uniqueness of personal experiences in religious beliefs. Each individual may have different spiritual experiences, and the limitations of reason imply that these experiences cannot always be adequately articulated or explained to others. This also means that approaches to religion that are based on beliefs without evidence are more subjective and can vary from individual to individual.

Third, in the context of fideism, critical thinking or rational analysis can be considered as simply a tool to understand deeper reality. This does not mean that reason is completely ignored, but that reason has limits that must be acknowledged. Therefore, in fideism, reason is often used to explain or detail existing beliefs, not as the main source of beliefs themselves.

Overall, the limitations of reason in the implications of fideism imply that deep religious beliefs often stem from strong faith and personal spiritual experience, although they cannot always be explained in a way that meets conventional standards of reason. This has sparked ongoing debate in the worlds of philosophy and theology regarding the role of reason and faith in religion, as well as the extent to which reason can achieve a complete understanding of spiritual reality.

Relationship With Religion

The implications of fideism in relation to religion are very deep and significant. Fideism shifts the focus from rational arguments or empirical evidence in religion, and focuses more on aspects of faith, belief and personal experience in relation to things that are spiritual or divine. Here are some aspects that must be considered in the context of the relationship between fideism and religion:

  • Priority of Faith : One of the main implications of fideism is that faith and deep conviction have a high priority in religion. This means that individuals are encouraged to rely on their strong beliefs in God, religious values, or spiritual teachings, without taking too much account of the rational arguments or empirical evidence that supports them. In this case, the relationship with religion focuses more on internal and personal aspects rather than external aspects that can be measured or tested.
  • Personal Experience : Fideism recognizes the complexity of personal experience in religion. Individual spiritual experiences can vary greatly, and fideism emphasizes that these experiences can form a strong basis for belief. Experiences such as “leaps of faith” or profound religious moments can deepen an individual’s connection to the transcendental aspects of religion. This also means that each person may have a unique relationship with their religious beliefs.
  • Challenges of Subjectivity : The implications of fideism also present challenges related to subjectivity in relation to religion. Because of the focus on strong beliefs and personal experiences, religious beliefs are often highly subjective. This leads to differences in understanding of religion between different individuals, and it is difficult to measure or verify these beliefs objectively.
  • Criticism and Debate : Fideism has also attracted strong criticism, especially from supporters of rationalist or skeptical thought . They consider that fideism can provide justification for beliefs that cannot be tested or explained logically. This has resulted in ongoing debate regarding the role of reason and empirical evidence in religion, as well as the extent to which fideism can provide a solid basis for understanding religious reality.

Overall, the relationship with religion in the implications of fideism emphasizes aspects of faith, belief and personal experience in the development and understanding of religious beliefs. Despite challenges and criticism, fideism remains a perspective that influences the way most individuals understand and live their religion.


Fideism is a philosophical view that emphasizes the importance of faith in belief in God and spiritual things. Although controversial, it has become a foundation for many individuals in understanding aspects of meaninglessness in life. Respect for individual views is key to understanding and appreciating fideism.


How Does Fideism Relate To Religion?

Fideism is often the basis for religious belief. Religious believers often rely on faith in their belief in God and spiritual things.

Does Fideism Mean We Don’t Need To Think About Spiritual Matters?

In contrast, Fideism encourages individuals to think more deeply about spiritual matters. Faith is the basis for understanding and contemplating spiritual reality.

How Does Fideism Influence The Way We Make Ethical Decisions?

Fideism can influence an individual’s ethical views by emphasizing the importance of faith in making ethical decisions. However, the implications vary depending on personal beliefs.

Is Fideism Only Relevant To People With Religious Beliefs?

No. Although many religious adherents adopt fideism, this is not exclusive to them. Fideism is a philosophical view that can be adopted by individuals with a variety of spiritual beliefs.

Is Fideism Acceptable In The World Of Modern Philosophy?

Fideism is still a topic of debate in the world of modern philosophy . Some consider it a solid basis for personal belief, while others criticize it for its lack of rational argument.


  • “ Pensees ” by Blaise Pascal (1670).
  • “ Fides et Ratio ” by Pope John Paul II (1998).
  • “ Summa Theologiae ” by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1265-1274).
  • “ Pensee de Dieu ” by Lev Shestov (1938).
  • “ Feuerbach and the Interpretation of Religion ” by Karl Barth (1927).
  • “ The Will to Believe ” by William James (1896).

Video Recommendations

Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Fideism," Feelosofi, 1 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast