Here is the tragedy of theology in its distilled essence: The employment of high-powered human intellect, of genius, of profoundly rigorous logical deduction—studying nothing. In the Middle Ages, the great minds capable of transforming the world did not study the world; and so, for most of a millennium, as human beings screamed in agony—decaying from starvation, eaten by leprosy and plague, dying in droves in their twenties—the men of the mind, who could have provided their earthly salvation, abandoned them for otherworldly fantasies.
Theologians, and religionists in general, start with a fantasy premise and then proceed to apply rigorous formal logic to tease out its implications. Stark himself points out that “theology consists of formal reasoning about God.” This is admirably exact. Theologians, beginning with a wished-for creation of their own minds, analyze that creation’s characteristics by rigorous application of the principles of formal—that is, deductive—logic.