Reason and Religion: Evaluating and Explaining Belief in Gods

Herman Philipse

Omslag Herman Philips' Reason and Religion

Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Herman Philipse recently published the book ‘Reason and Religion: Evaluating and Explaining Belief in Gods’. The book concerns two interrelated topics. First, how probable is God’s existence? Should we not conclude that all divinities are human inventions? And second, what are the mental and social functions of endorsing religious beliefs?


The answers to these questions are interdependent. If a religious belief were true, the fact that humans hold it might be explained by describing how its truth was discovered. If all religious beliefs are false, a different explanation is required.

Philosophical investigations and empirical research

In this provocative book Herman Philipse combines philosophical investigations concerning the truth of religious convictions with empirical research on the origins and functions of religious beliefs.

Numerous topics are discussed, such as the historical genesis of monotheisms out of polytheisms, how to explain Saul’s conversion to Jesus, and whether any apologetic strategy of Christian philosophers is convincing. Universal atheism is the final conclusion.

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