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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could have everyone on the book read one book..., September 19, 2005
This review is from: Truth in Religion: The Plurality of Religions and the Unity of Truth (Paperback)
It would be this one, without a doubt. First, though, I can't help but comment on the comical Publisher's Weekly review which calls the book "parochial," "dogmatic," "controversial," and "devisive." Apart from not being able to spell "divisive" the author of that review must find controversial the idea that an indicative proposition can't be both true and false at the same time and the same sense. Or is that the dogmatic point? One wonders if the reviewer thinks her charges true (and that's different than "wanders" for the Pub Weekly folks). Perhaps, consistent with subjectivism, the reviewer is just expressing her taste--I don't like truth-claims--just as she perhaps doesn't like spam and eggs. But then why does her expressing her opinion on the pages of Publisher's Weekly count as journalism, but Adler expressing his in a treatise count as dogmatism. Apparently "dogmatism" only applies to *unfashionable* opinions.

At any rate, the book is a crucial corrective to the sickness of our times: the subjectivisation of religion. Bring me a good atheist any day, but keep the subjectivism to yourself (it only seems appropriate, doesn't it?). This book has some really neat features including a nice little primer on logic. The main target is the likes of Joseph Campbell who defines a religion as a myth mistakenly believed to be true. (Try telling that to Thomas Aquinas Joe-Joe.) The key distinction the book is built upon is the distinction between Truth and Taste. When one makes a truth-claim, the claim is governed by the laws of logic. When one expresses a matter of taste one is only reporting facts about oneself (and trivial ones about the object of the statement). The key difference is this: when I say "Squash is gross" and you say "Squash is good" we aren't really disagreeing. All I mean is "I don't like squash" and all you mean is "I do like squash." Those statements don't conflict. But when I say "The top quark exists" and you say "There is no top quark" we've made conflicting truth-claims. When it comes to squash, we can both be right--not so with quarks. To say that there is a God is to make a truth-claim. It is to assert the existence of an individual, just like in the quark case. Either there's a top quark or there isn't-either there's a God or there isn't. This book will take you on a tour of such thoughts and help you get your thoughts on religion organized. There's still plenty of room for disagreement, so there's no dogmatism here (pace Pub Weekly gal), but at least we will know wherein we disagree and how to go about discovering the truth.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 17, 2007 2:10:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2007 2:12:25 PM PDT
"To say that there is a God is to make a truth-claim." To say there is a Big foot is also a truth claim. This also goes for the lochness monster, faries, werewolves, vampires, and angels. You claim they are true but have no proof of the sort. So in the end they are simply personal beliefs, call them "internal truths" that have zero external evidence.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2008 10:25:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2008 10:26:12 AM PST
James Taylor says:
That's his point - to say that there is a God, that God exists, is a truth-claim. To say I believe that God exists is not a truth claim, but a statement of belief. Quite different. Same applies to Bigfoot, Loch Ness, et al: to say they indeed exist is one thing (truth-claim), to say you believe they exist is quite another.

This sounds like a good book. I am going to buy it.

Posted on Feb 17, 2011 9:46:16 AM PST
It is unfortunate that discussions about God are reduced to the question (claim ??) about whether "he" exists or not.
What is interesting is that historically our ancestors did NOT quibble about the existence of ONE God.
They were eager to ENGAGE themselves to one God among... MANY because they believed he was the best among many (another sense of "true" : what can be counted on, relied on, trusted). THEIR world was an animated, living, (not mecanized, unanimated) one.
Over a very long period of time the pagan gods have disappeared (in our civilization...) leaving just ONE God, whose existence has been very easily evacuated. (It's EASY to evacuate the divine question when there's just ONE running around, now, isn't it ??)
As for subjective and objective...
Pascal "proved" a long time ago that there is no way to logically prove the existence of God (for those who continue to be obsessed about existence...). But, the clincher is... there is no way to logically DISPROVE the existence of God either.
Check and mate.
You can make a logical observation that what is "objective" emerges from... what is "subjective". In a chicken and egg configuration too. Again what is dangerous is polarization on this question : pure subjectivity VS pure objectivity. AND OPPOSING belief/knowing along the dangerous lines of opposing religion and science. (My long dead daddy was a gifted scientist AND a believing, practicing Christian. HE did NOT oppose science and religion...)
But then.... the monotheisms are perhaps gifted for a totalitarian slant on the world. Think... MONO, right ?? Not much room for plurality or diversity there.
I don't think that I will read this book. It will probably not add anything to my understanding of this problem.
Plus... there's a hell of a lot of stuff out there to read anyway.
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