Commitment, Justification, and the Rejection of Natural Theology

This paper considers two related claims in the work of D. Z. Phillips: that commitment to God precludes a distinction between the commitment and the grounds for the commitment, and that belief and understanding are the same in religion. Both these claims motivate Phillips’s rejection of natural theology. I examine these claims by analyzing the notion of commitment, discussing what is involved in making a commitment to a worldview, why commitment is necessary at all in religion, levels of commitment, and commitment and justification. I show that Phillips fails to distinguish between adopting a hypothesis, where justification would be germane, and committing to the hypothesis after one has adopted it, where justification is not so pressing. This failure fatally undermines his rejection of natural theology
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DOI 10.5840/acpq200377321
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Patrick Horn (2012). D. Z. Phillips on Christian Immortality. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 71 (1):39-53.

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