Religion as Experience and Truth: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Religion as Experience and Truth: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Religion as Experience and Truth: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Religion as Experience and Truth: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Excerpt

Few things, it must be admitted, are more striking than mankind's immemorial interest in religion and the profound and far- reaching influence which religious experience and conviction have exerted upon the individual and social evolution of the race. To recognize this does not mean, of course, to ignore or belittle the activities and interests of secular life or to disparage in any way the attention the average man gives them. Modern man lives in a workaday world, and its demands on his time and energies are incessant. Indeed, for the majority of persons, whether we like it or not, the business of living resolves itself for the most part into a constant problem of adjustment to social and economic conditions on this visible level. But it would be a serious mistake to assume that this tells the whole story. Actually, as we know, it tells very little of it. From the beginning of history mankind has also lived in a world of thought, which of necessity lies beneath this daily level and as such exerts a prior influence upon our valuations and conduct which is of incalculable importance. In short, what a man thinks has always been and always will be the determining factor in what he does. Obvious as all this is, however, it does not exhaust the matter. It would be an equally grave mistake to assume that mere human ideologies, human objectives, and human valuations have alone contributed to the inner content and perspective of this thought world, and therefore to the form and substance of the visible world in which we live today. The truth is, though perhaps not ordinarily realized, that side by side with these human philosophies and objectives, side by side with the man-made standards and valuations of our social . . .

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