Philosophy Of Religion

Philosophy of Religion, by David Elton Trueblood is an attempt to fathom not
religion as a whole, but the thought processes that are the basis of modern
religious thought. The book makes no attempt to explain any individual religious
preferences or motifs, only to gauge the reasons for religion in its entirety.

While Trueblood doesn't pass judgment on other religions, his personal beliefs
are apparent. He is a Protestant Christian, and has been writing books on
religion since 1935. Philosophy of Religion is in the spirit of his other books,
such as The Logic of Belief which merely serves to explain why persons believe
what they do believe. 1957, the year of publication, was exactly in the middle
of a period of great change in the world. The space age was developing, and new
scientific discoveries were turning many people away from theistic explanations
of everything from natural history to outer space. Communism was spreading over

Eastern Europe like a wildfire, sweeping up millions into the not-so-comforting
arms of spiritual agnosticism. I feel Trueblood has done an excellent job with
this book, and anyone interested in the "Why's" of religion should
find it an interesting manuscript. Religion has reached a previously unheard-of
footing in this world, and it is impossible to simply ignore it. One is forced
to agree with or oppose with religions, which of course has led to a great deal
of friction, especially between radical sects. Unfortunately, many of the most
stringent followers as well as opposers of religions suffer from the same
malady: ignorance. The most devoted Islamic guerrilla may well be involved in an
anti-Semitic movement only because his father was. He may actually have the same
fundamental beliefs, i.e. the belief in one supreme God or Creator; as a Jew,
but is blinded by his cause and can't see the similarities, or attempt to
cohabitate in the world with an opposer of his religion. In religion, there is
to much gray area for there to be just one possible solution. Even communism,
always considered the antithesis of religion may well be one of the most
dogmatic faiths in the world. The main fundamental in religion is commitment.

Most commonly it is the faith in God or other supreme being, but dialectical
materialism is most certainly built on total commitment . Another factor many
people fail to realize, but which Trueblood points out more than adequately is
that philosophy is not religion. Philosophy is the search for "knowledge
for the sake of understanding, while religion seeks knowledge for the sake of
worship." One may also be religious and scientific. While science has
redefined a good deal of the natural world, the supernatural is still unchanged;
more people are turning to a God for comfort and stability in a world of
constant flux. Quite possibly one of the most important factors in religion is
its reliance on faith. All religion is based on word of mouth, and there is no
way of proving its validity. If any part of a religion is ever proved false,
then the belief as a whole is thus untrue. One cannot maintain, or pretend to
maintain, a religion merely because it is comforting, socially proper, or
convenient. If there is no God, then to pray and worship is a waste of time,
according to Trueblood. Indeed, he considers a false religion to be inherently
evil! Of course, many people feel that something cannot be quantitatively evil,
unless there is a supreme Good to compare to and fight the evil, so this There
must be, then, room for ambiguity in religion, if not doubt. This requires the
argument for realism, which Trueblood sufficiently provides. Realism is a theory
that "holds that there are objects of knowledge which actually enjoy
independent existence." These objects of knowledge are assumed by most
religions to be the causation, directly or not, of all things. Their divinity or
plurality has been the subject of great debate between separate religions, and
religion as a whole and science. Platonists believe in a spontaneous, four-fold
causation, while most Western religions believe in a singular, omnipotent God.

Meanwhile, non-Theistic scientists feel that everything happens out of random
chance, with no higher goals or creator. The next major topic that Trueblood
explains is the nature of truth. Is something rendered true merely because it
hasn't been disproved? Is positive evidence enough to classify something as
true, or proved? If A implies B, and B is true, does that mean A is true as
well? There is no definite answer to this, as Trueblood points out: If John was
in the wreck he