Journal of Social Sciences

Secularism and Theism: A Problem of Rationality

Michael Roess

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2010.229.233

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 6, Issue 2

Pages 229-233


Problem statement: A belief prevails today that pluralist liberal societies and genuine religious belief are incompatible. Until this belief is overcome it is unlikely that progress can be made toward dialogue between liberal pluralists, who pride themselves on their open-mindedness and rationality, and religious conservatives in America and theocrats elsewhere who esteem their devotion equally highly. Approach: Compare the rationality of “paradigm shifts” and that of religious conversion. Results: There was no difference in rationality between scientific progress when understood as a “paradigm shift” and that between conversion from theism to atheism or vice versa. Conclusion: Neither secularists nor theists were justified in their belief that liberalism and theism are incompatible. Pluralities of beliefs are all equally justifiable in terms of reason.


© 2010 Michael Roess. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.