Higher Education

God, Reason, and Religion, 1st Edition

  • Steven M. Cahn City University of New York, Graduate Center
  • ISBN-10: 049500507X  |  ISBN-13: 9780495005070
  • 114 Pages
  • © 2006 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $40.50



This short, provocative work by one of philosophy's foremost teachers is intended to offer a distinctive approach to central issues in the philosophy of religion. The intent of the book is not to attain comprehensive coverage of the field or to grapple with its most current technical literature. Rather, through the consideration of unusual examples and the use of illustrative materials drawn from unexpected sources, Cahn provides an accessible and gripping exploration of fundamental matters in the philosophy of religion--matters often obscured in more orthodox treatments of the subject.

Table of Contents

1. Proving God's Existence?
2. The Problem of Evil.
3. The Problem of Goodness.
4. The Moriarty Hypothesis.
5. Dummy Hypotheses.
6. The Appeal to Faith.
7. Skepticism about Faith.
8. The Problem of Meaning.
9. Miracles.
10. God Without Religion.
11. Playing the Odds.
12. Religions.
13. Religion Without God.
14. Heaven and Hell.
15. Life Without God.
16. A Religious Life.
About the Author.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"A wonderful introduction to philosophy of religion, in part unconventional, but utterly convincing, written clearly, and with great common sense."

— Peter Singer, Princeton University

"Clearly written and eminently accessible. Imaginative and quite persuasive."

— Rabbi Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"No other introduction to philosophy of religion is nearly as gripping. Cahn is a master writer and here displays his characteristic clarity and crispness, careful organization, well-chosen examples, and broad range of topics (including good and evil, heaven and hell, miracles, meaning, faith, and the variety of world religions). His presentation is sophisticated but not dense, his arguments precise but not abstruse. As a compelling first encounter with the field, this book is perfect."

— Professor Robert B. Talisse, Department of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

"A bold, dramatic invitation to the philosophy of religion. Cahn’s writing is lucid and nicely paced. His organization of each chapter and of the book as a whole is close to ideal. The overall result is highly impressive and promises to excite students and general readers alike."

— Eric R. Lindermayer, Professor, Suffolk County Community College

"An intriguing work that is both an accessible guide to core issues in the philosophy of religion and a challenging argument for the independence of religious commitment from belief in God. The writing is remarkably clear and displays compassion and humor. In view of the book’s careful explanations and intriguing examples, it is well-suited not only for specialists but also for beginners in philosophy."

— Professor Maureen Eckert, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

"GOD, REASON, AND RELIGION is clearly and concisely written, remarkably accessible to students, extremely well-organized, and compellingly argued. It makes a powerful case that traditional Western theism is not rationally acceptable, but that nevertheless, it is possible for religion, conceived in conformity with the canons of rationality, to play a legitimate role in human life. Such a text in the Philosophy of Religion is long overdue."

— Gary S. Rosenkrantz, Professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Cahn communicates superbly, and the book just talked to me directly. It is straightforward and non-technical, insightful and provocative, challenging readers to rethink and reevaluate unexamined beliefs. The story in the last chapter, which says everything that needs to be said in the way of a summary, is absolutely wonderful."

— Bill Bruening, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne

"Completely different from any text I have read: perfectly clear, refreshing, intriguing, stunning, moving, and actually fun to read."

— Joseph J. Lynch, Ph.D. - Philosophy Department, California Polytechnic State University

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Steven M. Cahn

Steven M. Cahn is one of America’s most distinguished teachers of philosophy. He has authored or edited more than forty books as well as numerous articles, most in the fields of metaphysics, philosophy of religion, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of education. Among his works are FATE, LOGIC, AND TIME; SAINTS AND SCAMPS: ETHICS IN ACADEMIA, 25th Anniversary Edition; FROM STUDENT TO SCHOLAR; A CANDID GUIDE TO BECOMING A PROFESSOR; PUZZLES & PERPLEXITIES: COLLECTED ESSAYS, Second Edition; EXPLORING ETHICS, Second Edition (ED.); POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; THE ESSENTIAL TEXTS, Second Edition (ED.); THE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION DEBATE, Second Edition (ED.); EXPLORING PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (ED.); and CLASSICS OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, Seventh Edition.