Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Justification vs. Explanatory force: religious a-theism

Burgess has some interesting thoughts on the subject:


I've been considering this issue in a variety of contexts lately:

1. Reading Nietzsche, he offers an incredibly persuasive explanatory counter example to the state religion, platonic Christianity, of his day. Indeed, his critique has often led me to say, "it's either the worldview of Jesus' or Zarathustra...there can be no middle ground." I'm not sure that's right, but in a world without God, his thesis, explanation by psychological genealogy, is highly intuitive and seems logically conclusive. If man is alone, power dynamics seem to explain what we call good and bad.

2. Mike Butler's statement, "all men have a worldview, thus all are religious."

3. Which build's off of Godel's famous discovery that logical/mathematical systems are incomplete without axiomatic indemonstrable assumptions. That is, every system has presuppositions which it takes on faith to hold it together.

4. So, one question is: which conceptual scheme offers the most plausible explanation? Another question is, which explanation can justify, or account for the ground of, the idea of truth, plausibility, and explanation in the first place.

5. Regardless, we should admit our finitude, and that those who hold beliefs, theists and non-theists, are not only responsible to explain but also to provide warrant. This quest leads to questions of normatively and authority, which leads to the question of who's first principal (what kind of first principal) can hold all things together. This is, ultimately, what we are putting our faith in.

HT: Steve Hays

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