Well the whole struggle of the renaissance and the Enlightenment was really over the issue of faith and reason. So your question has a lot of history behind it. The "modern" struggle for reason probably began with the rediscovery of (really transportation of) Aristotle from east to west in the 12th or 13th century. And overall this would be characterized as looking to the world for answers, and not just for empirical answers but for ideas that might spur developments in mathematics also.
At the end of the day Fred has faith in a book or a tradition, the words and promises of the book or tradition, or he might just have faith in himself. The book, tradition or Fred is set up as the authority. George challenges Fred's faith-based arguments using reason and Fred says, well you just have faith in reason and you are the same as me.
I would not call what George has faith, I would call it a justified belief based upon the principles of reason, which combines both the empirical and the rational.
Now looking at this problem from where we stand in 2017, and making the assumption that Kant's transcendental aesthetic failed, which I think it did, then I think George's real justication will rest in pragmatism. To (boldly) paraphrase William James, George's way of thinking pays better than Fred's does, and by this he means pays in a broad way. Crude, but it gets the point across. (Certainly not all pragmatists are as crude as this, personally I'm not entirely sold on pragmatism, I rather agree with some of the remarks B. Russell made about Dewey. Nevertheless pragmatism is strong today).
The problem we have is that reason today does not rest on a good foundation (to the extent that matters anymore). But the age-old fight is against bare authority and superstition, and I believe that still stands. The definition of reason in the dictionary is good enough for me. I still think a historically informed reason is the way to go. I think a narrow, historically uninformed reason is deadly. Sadly, most of what we have today falls into the latter category.