Philosophy of religion, I believe, is best viewed as a process of critical dialog...Posted by Kenny at January 17, 2007 4:29 PM
Such a critical dialog is risky. Probably everyone has heard a story of a student in a strict religious environment who loses his faith as a result of the critical challenges hurled at him at a university. But there is something unhealthy and even dishonest about a faith which hides from such a challenge. Can one really believe in God wholeheartedly and at the same time assert that one can only continue to believe by refusing to consider the evidence against one's belief? Such a "belief" seems perilously close to a half-conscious conviction that in fact God may not be real, combined with a wish to hid this truth from oneself...
A genuine and robust faith will not shrink from the process of testing, for it is confident that it will pass the test. If I genuinely believe that God is real (or that he is an illusion), I will not be afraid to examine alternative views and listen to problems and objections raised by others. Through this process I am confident that my faith will be deepened and strengthened.
- C. Stephen Evans, "Critical Dialog in Philosophy of Religion," in Michael Peterson, et al., eds., Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings, p. 129 (reprinted from C. Stephen Evans, Philosophy of Religion: Thinking about Faith, pp. 17-29).
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