Prolific philosopher

Richard at Philosophy, etc usually writes obscure investigations into human cognition or philosophical conundrums. Recently he forayed into critiquing religion in general, with his “Carnival of the Godless“. Not very convincing, just re-hashing a bunch of tired clichés.

I gave up when one of his commenters “caynazzo” echoed Pontius Pilate with a confident assertion that there is no such category as “Truth“. (Is that a true statement?) “Caynazzo” is trying to apply the scientific method to religious truth claims. This is a good plan, but it may not lead to a revelation of God. Caynazzo’s dismissive attitude appears quite prejudiced and childish, given the vast apologetics resources available.

Some reasonable positions held by Christian apologists:

  • The Catholic Church, and probably most other denominations hold that God’s existence can in fact be rationally demonstrated. (Unfortunately some literalist (“fundamentalist”) churches also teach pseudo-science, undermining their credibility).
  • Calvinism (and fideism) imply that an empirical, materialist, intellectual approach is not applicable to a dimension of life that is spiritual, subjective, and faith-based.
  • Alvin Plantinga holds that belief in the existence of God can be rational and indeed a species of knowledge, even though the existence of God cannot be demonstrated. After all, there are kinds of knowledge that are rational but do not proceed through demonstration: sensory knowledge, for instance.

Plantinga’s approach looks the most realistic to me.


2 thoughts on “Prolific philosopher

  1. A carnival is a roundup of blog posts from around the net. I just posted whatever submissions came my way; that’s not to say I agreed with all of them. (And I certainly do not agree with all my commenters.) So the “critqu[es]” of religion offered there were not really mine at all – your assertion to that effect is quite misleading. If you’re interested in what I have written about religion, see here.

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