By R. Douglas Geivett
This precise textbook--the first to supply balanced, accomplished assurance of all significant views at the rational justification of spiritual belief--includes twenty-four key papers by means of many of the world's prime philosophers of faith. prepared in six sections, every one representing an enormous method of spiritual epistemology, the e-book starts with papers through famous atheists, surroundings the level for the most theistic responses--Wittgensteinian Fideism, Reformed epistemology, typical theology, prudential debts of spiritual ideals, and rational trust established in spiritual experience--in every one case delivering a consultant pattern of papers by way of major exponents, a severe paper, and a considerable bibliography. A accomplished introductory essay and plentiful cross-references support scholars to distinction and assessment different ways, whereas the general association encourages them to evaluate the total diversity of philosophical positions at the issue.
Carefully chosen to supply either a finished assessment of present paintings and a chain of recent views on many vintage sources--Swinburne's exact dialogue of Hume's critique of the layout argument, for instance, in addition to a complete part comparing and lengthening Pascal's well-known Wager--the essays additionally supply a uniquely readable survey that might be beneficial in quite a lot of undergraduate and graduate classes in philosophy of faith and epistemology.
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Extra info for Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology
It is not difficult for an atheist to be friendly when he has reason to believe that the theist could not reasonably be expected to be acquainted with the grounds for disbelief that he (the atheist) possesses. For then the atheist may take the view that some theists are rationally justified in holding to theism, but would not be so were The Problem ofEvil and Some Varieties ofAtheism 41 they to be acquainted with the grounds for disbelief—those grounds being sufficient to tip the scale in favor of atheism when balanced against the reasons the theist has in support of his belief.
See, for example, the two chapters on Hume in G. E. Moore, Some Main Problems of Philosophy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1953). 7. Suppose that I add a long sum of numbers three times and get result x. I inform you of this so that you have pretty much the same evidence I have for the claim that the sum of the numbers is x. You then use your calculator twice over and arrive at result y. You, then, are justified in believing that the sum of the numbers is not x. However, knowing that your calculator has been damaged and is therefore unreliable, and that you have no reason to think that it is damaged, / may reasonably believe not only that the sum of the numbers is x, but also that you are justified in believing that the sum is not x.
The point is that, on the given assumption of total ignorance, combined with our present recognition of the infinite range of alternative theoretical possibilities; to bet on any one of the, so to speak, positive options, none of which can, by the hypothesis, be awarded any measure of positive probability, must be in the last degree arbitrary and capricious. E. The Five Ways as an Attempt to Defeat the Presumption of Atheism I have tried, in the first four sections, to explain what I mean by "the presumption of atheism," to bring out by comparison with the presumption of innocence in law The Presumption ofAtheism 29 what such a presumption does and does not involve, to deploy a case for adopting my presumption of atheism, and to indicate the lines on which two sorts of objection may be met.