It is not what a book says that matters, but rather what it does. Questioning Spirituality is not about proving or disproving the presence of a divine power, but only about the rationality of believing that such a thing could exist. The beauty of this book is that it delivers—opening doors that many believe should be kept tightly closed.
“[Taylor] makes a compelling case that the scientific worldview—one that sees humans as “meat machines” —is inconsistent with people’s experiences of themselves and is not nearly as rationally superior as it is so often presented. This alone makes the author’s compact consideration a worthwhile read.”
A philosophically astute challenge to the rational supremacy of science over its spiritual rivals.”
~ Kirkus Reviews
Today’s reliance on science has forced most to discard ideas of faith, spirituality, and religion. If believing in a higher power is irrational, as stated so eloquently and emphatically by the likes of Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins, then believers are automatically cast into the category of the uneducated, and uninformed. Questioning Spirituality tips these ideas upside down and allows the truth to emerge, bringing with it a whole new sense of freedom.
“A thought-provoking investigation of the
assumed irrationality of spiritual beliefs
that honors both sides of the debate.
In a world where science and religion are often seen as antithetical to one another, Dr. Eldon Taylor dares to question whether religion is as irrational as some anti-religion advocates would have people believe.
The result is a surprisingly direct and pragmatic conversation that handles peoples’ experiences as they relate to their beliefs with respect. When belief in a higher power is taken as seriously as the scientific worldview, does religion appear as irrational as is commonly believed, or is the alleged rational superiority of the scientific worldview unjustified?"
~ Timothy Thomas: Independent Book Review
Atheists can no longer hold onto the claim that their arguments against God are water-tight or infallible, and that theirs is the only sensible way to live. Using the fundamentals of science and philosophy, Eldon Taylor shows that not only is it rational to believe in a God or Higher Power, but that it is the smarter option.
“Questioning Spirituality’s method of analysis offers the opportunity to consider (or reconsider) the
foundations which can support or deny religious convictions.
Bigger-picture thinking about the diverse issues involved in defining the spiritual domain and the rationality of its possibilities.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
In Questioning Spirituality: Is It Irrational to Believe in God? Eldon Taylor offers a remarkably thoughtful and wise reflection on the tensions between matters of faith and of science. While our society has become increasingly secular and less religiously engaged or affiliated, questions of faith, spirituality, meaning, and the beyond have not gone away and are frequently on the minds of many. During increasingly turbulent and rather apocalyptic times due to climate change, economic inequality, a global pandemic, divisive politics, war, and other deeply disturbing challenges, questions about spirituality and faith become even more salient, even among those who are identified as “nones” or “dones” when it comes to organized religion. Dr. Taylor’s many years of experience, scholarship, reflection, and wisdom are evident throughout this book and anyone who is engaged by questions of meaning, purpose, and the beyond would likely find plenty to chew on within these pages.
— Thomas G. Plante, PhD, ABPP, Augustin Cardinal Bea, S.J. University Professor
In this book, Eldon Taylor provides a compelling read for anyone struggling to reconcile matters of faith and spirituality with logic and scientific rationality. His discussion blends elements of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and religion in addressing the question as to whether or not it’s irrational to be spiritual or to believe in a Higher Power. Offering a non-dogmatic approach, he objectively examines both the inconsistencies and benefits of religious practice and belief. When it comes specifically to considering the role that spirituality should or should not play in life, anyone craving food for thought will find nourishment here. Though Taylor argues that it is pragmatically rational and advantageous to believe in a Higher Power, any final decisions are left up to the reader.
— Anthony Falikowski, PhD, author of Higher Reality Therapy
In Questioning Spirituality, Eldon Taylor takes the reader on an intellectual safari investigating two competing worldviews, and he provides explorations and explanations of each perspective that are fair, honest, and insightful. In some respects, there is competition between naturalism and spirituality, while in others there is a confluence that some readers may find surprising. We certainly learn through empirical observation of the natural world, but that does not preclude the possibility that paragnosis and noetics may also provide avenues to understanding the place that humanity occupies within our world. Perhaps the world of matter and energy is not the world entire. Other phenomena may also matter. From ancient philosophers to contemporary scientists, Eldon Taylor surveys some of the brightest lights illuminating the questions and debates at issue. He concludes that belief or unbelief is still very much what William James called a “genuine option.” It is not irrational to believe that there is something more than can be identified with telescopes and microscopes. Spirituality is not for the scientifically benighted or for mere wishful thinkers. Investigate the matter for yourself, and you may find that contemporary dismissive attitudes toward faith and spirituality are simply not warranted by the available evidence. Taylor encourages his reader to investigate the matter carefully, modestly, and honestly. This is always wise advice, and Taylor’s Questioning Spirituality is a crucial contribution to our explorations of the human condition. Highly recommended!
— William Ferraiolo, PhD, Philosophy Department, San Joaquin Delta College
Questioning Spirituality is an inspiring read. While Eldon is unafraid to expose the problems in absolute “belief,” whether it is the belief in science or in religion, he does it in a way that brings hope and peace to all. Questioning Spirituality is not about finding some compromise that leaves both theists and atheists feeling dissatisfied. Instead, it is a synthesis of beliefs that brings forth something that is truly freeing. It seems believing in science does not have to mean abandoning faith and believing in spirituality does not require blind faith. Examine, question, and then choose for yourself.
— Marci Shimoff, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Happy for No Reason
Eldon Taylor explores interesting and thorny issues, such as free will, and the sometimes-conflicting accounts of religious events. He threads his needle and pushes it into one buttonhole after another, striving for simplicity, rationality, and even comfort in whatever one might personally define as a “spiritual” belief. I enjoyed his “white crows” analogy because while many of us have never seen evidence of a god or a spirit world, we’ve never seen radio waves either. A book that provides food for thought and exploration for atheists like me, and theists all.
— Ingrid Newkirk, President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
I have known Dr. Eldon Taylor as a colleague for over 35 years. His research and recordings have proven to be helpful to many individuals and are a major contribution to the self-help field. Dr. Taylor’s new book Questioning Spirituality is especially relevant today as many of us wrestle with issues of faith in light of the invasion of Ukraine and a 21st century holocaust.
His insights can provide the reader clarification and perspective in evaluating how they live their own life. By asking us to examine our own belief systems, Dr. Taylor offers us tools to navigate and perhaps reevaluate how we live our own life. Highly recommended.
— Steven Halpern, PhD, Grammy® nominated recording artist, sound healer, and author
For too long now, my love of science has meant that I had to deny those feelings inside that kept telling me there is more to life than science can demonstrate. My need to be considered smart and rational meant I had to ignore those experiences that defied sensible explanations—experiences that we have all had at some time or another. With clear simple logic, Questioning Spirituality demonstrates that believing in a spiritual life is no more irrational than not believing in it. This knowledge means that the exploration of spirituality is no longer taboo for those of us who consider ourselves to be hard scientists or intellectuals— being open to spirituality is no longer a betrayal of our scientific standards. With the playing fields now fully leveled, I realized I finally had permission to fully embrace the spiritual side of my life. This shift in thinking is incredibly freeing!
— Seema Chaudary, Lab Technician
“Scientism” was pushed on me when I started college in the 1970s. It was equated with being a good person, or so I believed. But since then, I have noticed that Science believers have the same weaknesses and biases as other humans. This brain we’ve inherited is hard to manage. It’s tempted by immediate rewards even though it can conceptualize more lasting rewards. Dr. Taylor’s book is a valuable tool for confronting this challenge.
— Loretta Breuning, PhD, author of Habits of a Happy Brain; founder Inner Mammal Institute
Questioning Spirituality: Is It Irrational to Believe in God? provides a thoughtful summary and reflection on some of the most essential topics within the field of psychology, including the power of hope, the role of genes, and the connection between mind-body. Readers interested in learning more about the science of happiness, and in particular the insights from neuroscience on how our thoughts and practices can literally change the brain, will find this book particularly engaging and inspiring.
— Catherine Sanderson, POLER Family Professor and Chair of Psychology at Amherst College