Atheism & Philosophy by Kai Nielsen

By Kai Nielsen

The indeterminacy of the trendy notion of God has made the excellence among trust and unbelief more and more frustrating. either the complexity of the non secular reaction and the range of sceptical philosophies avoid simplistic definitions of what constitutes trust in God. Making the dialogue much more tricky are assertions via fundamentalists who brush off the philosophical perplexities of non secular claims as unreal pseudo-problems. "Atheism and Philosophy" is a close examine of those and different concerns very important to our figuring out of atheism, agnosticism, and non secular trust. thinker Kai Nielsen develops a coherent and built-in method of the dialogue of what it capability to be an atheist. In chapters similar to: How is Atheism to be Characterised?; Does God Exist?; Agnosticism; faith and dedication; and The Primacy of Philosophical Theology, Nielsen defends atheism in a manner that solutions to modern matters. This paperback version contains a new preface within which Nielsen, displaying the expanding effect of the later Ludwig Wittgenstein, Donald Davidson, the classical pragmatists, and such neo-pragmatists as Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam, defends his account opposed to a few chronic and believable criticisms, really opposed to his sceptical arguments about the coherence and intelligibility of trust in God.

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That judgment, given what he knew at the time, is not rendered unreasonable in the light of evidence that only could become available to him later. The reasonableness of our judgments should be assessed in the light of the evidence available to us at a given time. Not having any such post-mortem experiences of the presence of God (assuming for the occasion that he could have them), as things stand, and in the face of the evidence he actually has, and is likely to be able to get, he should say that it is false that God exists.

Not as oneself did one ever find rest, in her experience (she accomplished here something dexterous with her needles), but as a 40 Preface wedge of darkness. Losing personality one lost the fret, the hurry, the stir; and there rose to her lips always some exclamation of triumph over life when things come together in this peace, this rest, this eternity; and pausing there she looked out to meet that stroke of the lighthouse, the long steady stroke, the last of the three, which was her stroke, for watching them in this mood always at this hour one could not help attaching oneself to one thing especially of the things one saw; and this thing, the long steady stroke was her stroke.

But at any rate it is how I think we should proceed in trying to justify either an atheistic point of view or a religious one. It is a coherence view (though relying on the initial plausibility of our considered judgments). It relies on many diverse elements (including deductive elements), but it is quite different from a purely deductive model, such as we see deployed in The Impossibility of God. It is plausible to object that however well such a coherence method will work in moral theory and in normative political theory, it will not work in considering the choice between religious belief and atheism.

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