Rationality and Religious Theism (Routledge Philosophy of Religion Series)
- Publish Date: 2003-08-30
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Joshua L. Golding
Throughout the ages one of the central topics in philosophy of religion has been the rationality of theistic belief. Philosophers and theologians have debated whether it is rational to believe certain propositions about Gods existence and nature. This book proposes that parties on both sides of this debate might shift their attention in a different direction, by focusing on the question of whether it is rational to be a religious theist. Explaining that having theistic beliefs is primarily a cognitive or mental affair but being a religious theist involves a whole way of life that includes, but goes beyond, one's beliefs or cognitive faculties, Golding suggests that to qualify as a religious theist a person must pursue a good relationship with God by following a religious way of life. Utilizing a Pascalian strategy, Golding argues that it can be pragmatically rational to be a religious theist even if the evidence for Gods existence is minimal. The argument is applied to the case of Judaism, articulating what is involved in religious Judaism and arguing that it is rationally defensible to be a religious Jew. The book concludes with a discussion of whether a similar argument might be constructed for other versions of religious theism such as Christianity or Islam, or even for non-theistic religions such as Taoism or Buddhism. Offering a new approach to an ancient topic, whilst also engaging in a discussion of classic and contemporary writings on the rationality of religious commitment, this book provides fresh insights to scholars of philosophy of religion, theology and Jewish studies.