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Reason and Religious Belief

Lou MatzVideo is currently unavailable. Will be updated soon!!

Should rational people be religious? What is the relationship between morality and religion? Would the world be better off without supernatural religions? To explore these questions, I will discuss the little known but compelling philosophy of religion of John Stuart Mill, a famous 19th century philosopher and social reformer who wrote during an era in which the grounds for traditional religious belief were being undermined. Mill's view on the nature of true religion and its value challenged both religious believers and rational skeptics, and his thinking is still relevant today. Mill's view on the nature of true religion and its role in morality can be summed up in one sentence: Improve yourself and society and, if it is psychologi­cally necessary to commit yourself to these ends, it is legitimate to hope in supernatural realities as long as they are consistent with reason and moral feelings.

Lou MatzLou Matz, Ph.D.
Dr. Matz is a Professor of Philosophy and the Assistant Provost of Academic Student Support and Retention. His undergraduate study was in philosophy and psychology at the University of Redlands, where he played intercollegiate basketball and was awarded scholar-athlete of the year He received his Ph.D in philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. Before arriving at Pacific in 1999, he taught for seven years at Xavier University (Ohio). His teaching focused primarily on ethics, the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of John Stuart Mill. He has produced scholarly work in each of these areas and created the first annotated edition of J.S. Mill's Three Essays on Religion.