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Latif, I. (1957). God and Country: By Charles Schoenfeld. New York: Philosophical Library, 1955. Pp. 119. $3.00.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 38:288-289.
(1957). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 38:288-289
God and Country: By Charles Schoenfeld. New York: Philosophical Library, 1955. Pp. 119. $3.00.)
Review by: Israil Latif
The author starts the book with a statement that whenever man has encountered perplexing problems in regard to his fellow-men he has almost invariably been driven to the use of brute force. This in the age of the hydrogen bomb constitutes the greatest danger to the survival of the human race.
Faced with this danger, certain leading thinkers have maintained that a return to God and Church is the only way to regain social and moral values. Although the author agrees about the need of social and moral values, he questions the wisdom of a return to God and Church in the conventional sense of these terms. In fact, he subjects this proposed solution to a very critical examination.
The author confines his inquiry to modern America. In our judgement, however, his critical examination justifies a wider application. It may well be applied to the entire modern world.
As a first step to his inquiry, the author starts with a critical examination of an arbitrary definition of God, based upon the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely, that God is 'an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-feeling, rational and just, living entity who created and is vitally interested in man, who intervenes, either by himself or through intermediaries, in the life of man, and who ultimately will judge man'. After a thorough examination, he arrives at the conclusion that this definition of God 'is permeated with inconsistencies and improbabilities'.
But why is it, the author asks, that notwithstanding these 'inconsistencies and improbabilities' most people brought up in the Judeo-Christian tradition still continue unyieldingly and unhesitatingly to believe in a God of this kind? It is mainly to this inquiry that the first part of the book is devoted.
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