Pragmatic and transcendental arguments for theism: A critical examination [Book Review]

Commenting upon some recent literature on the topic, this paper examinestwo strategies by means of which one might try to defend theism: (1) a pragmatic (Jamesian) strategy, which focuses on the idea that religiousbelief has beneficial consequences in the believer's life, and (2) a transcendental (Kantian) strategy, according to which theism is requiredas a condition of our self-understanding as ethically oriented creatures.Both strategies are found unsatisfactory, unless synthesized and thussupported by each other. While no argument, either pragmatic ortranscendental, can demonstrate the existence of God, a pragmatictranscendental argument might have a legitimate role to play in thephilosophy of religion. The problem of relativism arises, however. It isconcluded that it remains unclear whether a religious believer could justifyher or his beliefs to anyone who does not already share those beliefs.
Keywords Philosophy
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