“The public image of contemporary philosophers is that their personal stories are all stories of losing faith or of never having had it. The stories in this volume shatter the image. …
God and the Philosophers: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason, features Christian and Jewish theists. One of the longer pieces is Peter van Inwagen’s Quam Dilecta, which tells the story of his rejection of teenage spirituality, twenty years of atheism and his long slow turn to Christianity. He writes with an urbane cynicism that I find amusing:
My attachment to Unitarianism (and its three pillars: the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Neighbourhood of Boston) did not survive my going away to college. That sort of thing is, of course, a familiar story in every denomination, but it’s an easier passage for Unitarians, since it does not involve giving up any beliefs. My wife, who is one of my most useful critics, tells me that this is an unkind remark and ought to be omitted. It seems to me to be an important thing to say, however. I did not experience the crisis of conscience so common among Evangelical or Roman Catholic university students who leave the church. … It is, however, simply a fact that a Unitarian can sever his connection with Unitarianism without changing any of his beliefs.
Have you given up a belief? (Perhaps one belief out of many, a scientific belief or belief in humanity, if not a spiritual one.)
Is it possible to have a spiritual life without beliefs? Perhaps we could say that Buddhism is also a practice that requires no intellectual assent. But is this, in fact, the case?
? What do you think?
“In yourself, believe. It’s alright”, sing the phenomenal King‘s X. There’s a live version here, with an inspiring message— recommended. Or, you can listen to
King’s X – Believe. Belief Lyrics.
Please share this article: