Of Belief and Reason

The life of the mind is a composition of two forces: the necessity to believe in order to live, and the necessity to reason in order to advance. In ages of poverty and chaos the will to believe is paramount, for courage is the one thing needful; in ages of wealth the intellectual powers come to the fore as offering preferment and progress; consequently a civilization passing from poverty to wealth tends to develop a struggle between reason and faith, a “warfare of science with theology.” In this conflict philosophy, dedicated to seeing life whole, usually seeks a reconciliation of opposites, a mediating peace, with the result that it is scorned by science and suspected by theology. In an age of faith, where hardship makes life unbearable without hope, philosophy inclines to religion, uses reason to defend faith, and becomes a disguised theology.

William Durant, The Age of Faith (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950), p. 405.

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