Religion and pseudo-religion: An elusive boundary [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (1):3 - 32 (2007)
This paper examines the possibility of setting a boundary between religion and “pseudo-religion” (or superstition). Philosophers of religion inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ideas, in particular, insist that religious language-use can be neither legitimated nor criticized from the perspective of non-religious language-games. Thus, for example, the “theodicist” requirement that the existence of evil should be theoretically reconciled with theism can be argued to be pseudo-religious (superstitious). Another example discussed in the paper is the relation between religion and morality. The paper concludes by reflecting on the issue of relativism arising from the Wittgensteinian contention that the religion vs. pseudo-religion division can only be drawn within a religious framework, and on Wittgenstein’s own suggestion that the religious person “uses a picture”.
|Keywords||Religion Pseudo-religion Superstition Evil Ethics Wittgenstein, L. James, W|
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References found in this work BETA
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1969/1991). On Certainty (Ed. Anscombe and von Wright). Harper Torchbooks.
Richard Swinburne (2004). The Existence of God. Oxford University Press.
William James (1991). The Varieties of Religious Experience. Triumph Books.
Alvin Plantinga (2000). Warranted Christian Belief. Oxford University Press.
Stanley Cavell (1979/1999). The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy. Oxford University Press.
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