A Defense of First and Second-Order Theism: the limits of empirical inquiry and the rationality of religious belief

We argue that the use of the term “supernatural” is problematic in philosophy of religion in general, and in the contribution by Thornhill-Miller and Millican (TMM) in particular. We address the disturbing parallel between Hume’s case against the rationality of belief in miracles and his dismissal o...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:European journal for philosophy of religion
Main Author: Taliaferro, Charles 1952-
Contributors: Porot, Christophe (Other)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: University of Innsbruck in cooperation with the John Hick Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham [2016]
In: European journal for philosophy of religion
Year: 2016, Volume: 8, Issue: 3, Pages: 213-235
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Theism / Supranaturalism
IxTheo Classification:AB Philosophy of religion; criticism of religion; atheism
NAA Systematic theology
Online Access: Volltext (teilw. kostenfrei)
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Summary:We argue that the use of the term “supernatural” is problematic in philosophy of religion in general, and in the contribution by Thornhill-Miller and Millican (TMM) in particular. We address the disturbing parallel between Hume’s case against the rationality of belief in miracles and his dismissal of reports of racial equality. We do not argue that because Hume was a racist (or an advocate of white superiority) therefore his view against miracles is faulty, but we draw attention to how Hume sets up a framework that, for similar reasons, discounts evidence of black intelligence and divine intelligence (or evidence of acts of God). We go on to argue against TMM’s revision of Hume on miracles. We then argue that empirical testing on the veracity of petitionary belief is impossible for there is no control case (everyone is prayed for) and that empirical testing can no more evaluate the evidential merits of most religious experiences than it can assess the merits of any robust philosophical position in epistemology, metaphysics, value theory, logic and mathematics. We express doubts about the integrity and scope of how one might enjoy the good of religion without belief. In a final section we offer a defense of the rationality of believing in specific religious traditions based on religious experience along with what we refer to as sufficient philosophical reasoning.
Contains:Enthalten in: European journal for philosophy of religion
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.24204/ejpr.v8i3.1695