Fowler’s stages of faith development

February 9, 2011 at 9:04 am (philosophy is bullshit)

Although I disagree with this, it’s worth noting. From Wikipedia:

Faith is seen as a holistic orientation, and is concerned with the individual’s relatedness to the universal:

  • Stage 0 – “Primal or Undifferentiated” faith (birth to 2 years), is characterized by an early learning of the safety of their environment (i.e. warm, safe and secure vs. hurt, neglect and abuse). If consistent nurture is experienced, one will develop a sense of trust and safety about the universe and the divine. Conversely, negative experiences will cause one to develop distrust with the universe and the divine. Transition to the next stage begins with integration of thought and languages which facilitates the use of symbols in speech and play.
  • Stage 1 – “Intuitive-Projective” faith (ages of three to seven), is characterized by the psyche’s unprotected exposure to the Unconscious.
  • Stage 2 – “Mythic-Literal” faith (mostly in school children), stage two persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their deities are almost always anthropomorphic.
  • Stage 3 – “Synthetic-Conventional” faith (arising in adolescence) characterized by conformity
  • Stage 4 – “Individuative-Reflective” faith (usually mid-twenties to late thirties) a stage of angst and struggle. The individual takes personal responsibility for their beliefs and feelings.
  • Stage 5 – “Conjunctive” faith (mid-life crisis) acknowledges paradox and transcendence relating reality behind the symbols of inherited systems
  • Stage 6 – “Universalizing” faith, or what some might call “enlightenment”.


  1. seidos said,

    faith is interesting. don’t you kind of have faith for writing this article? what motivates you? don’t you kind of believe that this post actually means something? doesn’t the scientist have to believe it is possible to verify a hypothesis before working on verifying its validity?

    • cw1925 said,

      No, I don’t have faith for writing this article at all. Faith is the antithesis of science in general. Science uses inductive logic, whereas faith is completely illogical. Faith is the gambler’s fallacy, where positive hits “confirm” their faith, but negative ones are discarded from memory.

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