Reason and Religious Belief: An introduction to The Philosophy of Religion’ by M. Peterson

Subject: Philosophy
Pages: 3
Words: 589
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


The book provides an insight into religion. The first chapter of the book points out that many religious beliefs have developed since civilization. Religions have highly developed concepts of ultimate reality. Some people are pagans and others are atheists. The book provides a hint to the definition of religion, in order, to provide some completeness in the reality of goodness through the most aspect of human existence, or belief in an ever-living God, in a divine mind and the will of ruling the universe and holding moral relations with humanity. Religion constitutes a set of human beliefs, as well as, experiences and actions of an individual or a group of people having a common concept of an ultimate reality that inspires worship and total devotion.


The book helps in understanding the meaning of the philosophy of religion. An approach given to the philosophy of religion depends on how an individual understands the philosophical facts in general. For instance, theism is perceived to have a transcendent spiritual being that is omnipresent and perfectly acceptable. Theological beliefs do not appreciate the intimate, personal involvement of religious faith. Religious faith involves an element of personal trust with God normally based on the belief of how God looks like. Believers should also seek further understanding of faith by questioning its beliefs. Reflective believers with atheistic orientation realize that the truth of God’s existence is not immediately obvious because God is omnipresent. Thus, Gods’ hidden nature leads to a problem in His search. The attempt to search for the existence of God in order to generate facts can provide a sense of related religious beliefs. The book aims at critically assessing issues that relate to the existence of God. There is a long tradition of theism believers who think that they can make sense of a rational existence of God.

The second chapter of the book provides a wider scope of understanding the philosophy of religion. It provides an understanding of religion. In addition, it describes what constitutes religious beliefs. Religion is bound up with cultural units of inheritance. Therefore, speaking about God involves a human construct that plays a role in the human individual and social experience. Methodological non-realist suggests that religion is conducted by examining both the origin of religion and its individual and social phenomena. Ontological religious non-realists claim that religion and wholly and merely human affairs and experience. Monotheism asserts that God is a single entity. On the other hand, religious realists argue that religions are psychological and social phenomena. Religious beliefs are conveyed in language with assertions taken to claim truth and defended. This is done through arguments to show that the beliefs are genuine. Both religious non-realists and realists confuse the origin and functions of religion. Wittgenstein, a non-realist, challenged how man views language, belief, and the reflection between language and belief and the object that individual speak to believe. This suggests the role of theology is to describe how man understands and talks about God.


In conclusion, the book describes how God exists which is a function indicated by the language. Hence, religious beliefs have failed to recognize how belief can regulate an individual’s life. Realists are not contented with non-realism since they argue that the meaning of religion has been confused with its use. Hence, it is essential to understand how a man views religious beliefs and assertions. This is important to the understanding of the theology of religion and philosophy of religion. Thus, the main question is how religious practices benefit humankind.


Michael Peterson, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger. Reason and Religious Belief. An introduction to The Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. 2008.