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Money-Kyrle, R. (1930). Psychology's Defence of the Faith: By David Yellowlees, M.B., Ch.B. (Student Christian Movement Press, 1929. Pp. 190. Price 5 s. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 11:349-350.

(1930). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 11:349-350

Psychology's Defence of the Faith: By David Yellowlees, M.B., Ch.B. (Student Christian Movement Press, 1929. Pp. 190. Price 5 s. net.)

Review by:
R. Money-Kyrle

Psychology's Defence of the Faith might have been more aptly termed 'The Defence of the Faith against Psychology'. It is a modern apologia of a well-known type. Many of the discoveries and criticisms of science are readily admitted. But a domain is preserved for faith.

Dr. Yellowlees asserts that 'there are kinds of truth' which we cannot gain 'by cultivating a spirit of scientific detachment or what is called an open mind—which is sometimes perilously like a vacant mind. The only way to apprehend religious truth of any ultimate sort is to be willing to fulfil the conditions under which alone we may experience it. Jesus said, 'Anyone who chooses to do His Will will understand whether my teaching comes from God". That deliberate choice, with all it involves, comes first, and the understanding can only come afterwards. And it has to be done really and sincerely. You cannot say to yourself, "Let us suppose, for experimental purposes, that I have decided to do the Will of God; I shall then probably feel so and so". You will have to be utterly genuine about it' (p. 87). The implied argument has the validity of all tautologies. The domain of faith is by definition located beyond science. Therefore science cannot disturb it.

There remain, however, parts of the book which can be criticized on logical grounds. There is, for instance, the old misunderstanding about free will. 'Can you conceive what would happen if free will were finally proved to be an illusion? Life as we know it would become simply impossible. Effort and striving, failure and success, rewards and punishments, right and wrong, would lose all meaning' (p. 92). Dr.

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