The Elimination of Natural Theology Essay

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The Elimination of Natural Theology ABSTRACT: The dispute between fideists and rationalists seems intractable since those who argue for faith alone claim that they are offended by the use of reason in religion. The advocates of reason claim that they are equally offended by the appeal to faith. This dispute may be resolved by showing that those who rely on faith may be seen as engaging in an experiment of living, so they can become part of a rational experiment without having to alter their practice; in contrast, those who use reason to justify religion can be seen as addressing a spiritual need. From an evangelical point of view, it would be wrong to disparage the mathematician’s use of the mathematical proof of God’s existence (such…show more content…
- Jamesian conditions=we have, with good reason, a right to believe more than is justified by the received canons of rationality - Butlerian conditions = (i) for all practical purposes, it is sufficient to reply to objections to religion; it is not necessary to provide positive arguments. (ii) for all practical purposes, it is sufficient to provide probabilistic arguments, it is not necessary to provide demonstrative arguments. - integrative rationalism = consider religion an integral part of the whole enterprise of rational inquiry and accept the following: (A) All claims with religious content and all religiously motivated actions and practices are subject to the same kind of rational scrutiny and evaluation as any other claim or form of behavior i.e., the religious and the secular are at parity as far as the jurisdiction of reason is concerned. By contrast, pure fideists reject (A) without comment; ratiocinative fideists reject (A) but attempt to explain their rejection, and conditional rationalists refuse to accept (A) until the kind of rational scrutiny to which religion is to be subjected is spelled out. The Controversy Discovering the right relationship between faith and reason matters as much as finding the right religion matters, yet the conflict seems irresolvable. Rationalists and fideists can both claim legitimate descent in the history of religion, but the essence of one view seems categorically unacceptable to the other. The
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