New PDF release: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

By Kai Nielsen (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333114663

ISBN-13: 9780333114667

ISBN-10: 1349169595

ISBN-13: 9781349169597

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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

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God' does not take just any word-slot in the English language, thus it is evident that there is a sense of 'intelligible' in which plain God-talk is perfectly intelligible. We can make inferences from 'God created the world'. 'If God created the world', the world is not uncreated, the world just didn't happen to come into being, and the world did not exist before God. Moreover, if God created the world, God is not, as he would be in Spinoza's, Hegel's or Tillich's conceptual system, dependent on or identical with, the world or some part of the world.

By now it is evident that I, like Hoffman and Edwards, have operated with a fundamentally empiricist requirement in talking of the intelligibility of such religious discourse. But I have tried to give some justification for using such a criterion. I have tried to show how it states in capsule form and generalises a method that is repeatedly used in practice by reflective men when they try to decide whether a given use oflanguage makes a factual claim, that is, makes a claim about what there is.

5 Yet to be intelligible in this sense is hardly enough to satisfy the philosopher who believes that the sentences expressing such primary religious beliefs are unintelligible or incoherent. Still, the above remarks about linguistic regularities have the merit of bringing to the fore that the philosopher who finds such dis- 20 THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION course unintelligible has a rather special sense of , unintelligible' in mind. And it puts the onus on the philosopher to show in what relevant sense or senses such discourse is unintelligible.

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Kai Nielsen (auth.)


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