chapter  7
15 Pages

Religion and the Paranormal

There can be little doubt that, if some of the alleged findings of parapsychology could be established, they would have very great importance for religion. I hope to give some indication of this in due course. But first a word of warning. We must try to view these alleged discoveries in the proper perspective and avoid exaggeration and distortion. It has often happened that, when new discoveries are made, they are taken to provide a major due to all remaining problems, the one key for which we have been waiting. A major fault of some philosophical systems, Hegelian idealism, for instance, or some features of linguistic analysis, has been to present themselves in this way. Process philosophy has lately been casting itself for the same role. In the late nineteenth century, evolution was supposed to be the open sesame, and we had 'evolutionary ethics', 'evolutionary sodal theory', and even 'evolutionary metaphysics'. Some turn to the teachings of Teilhard de Chardin in the same way. But it is extremely unlikely, in my opinion, that we shall find any marvellous once-for-all due of this kind. Problems do ramify and they may be more inter-related than some have supposed, but they have also to be tackled on their merits. We must continue with 'the long and circuitous route' and resist the delusions of the short way.