Idealistic Studies 12 (1):56-71 (1982)

To understand any genuine theism we must recognize at once that we are dealing with a problem of a different order than technical puzzles in epistemology or conundrums in modal logic. That is not to say that theism is above rational investigation, that acceptance of it presupposes some special access, or that it cannot be examined philosophically. But it cannot be discussed fruitfully unless there is some grasp of what refined religious feeling in fact is. A lot of discussion about God comes from the lips of people who have never visited temple, mosque, or meeting house, and who have not tried to find out what it is like to have a religious attitude toward an object of belief for forty years without a break. They have little interest in understanding the experience of prayer or finding out what it is like to commit oneself sincerely to a religious ideal. Invariably they know little about the teachings and claims of the eleven world religions, but they surely know how to find an assortment of flaws in St. Thomas’s “Five Ways” and they are consummate experts in showing up weaknesses in Paley’s “watchmaker” argument. They have a veritable field day in ridiculing the extravagances of uncritical Fundamentalism.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies198212110
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