Philosophia 35 (3-4):387-402 (2007)

John Bishop
University of Auckland
On the assumption that theistic religious commitment takes place in the face of evidential ambiguity, the question arises under what conditions it is permissible to make a doxastic venture beyond one’s evidence in favour of a religious proposition. In this paper I explore the implications for orthodox theistic commitment of adopting, in answer to that question, a modest, moral coherentist, fideism. This extended Jamesian fideism crucially requires positive ethical evaluation of both the motivation and content of religious doxastic ventures. I suggest that, even though the existence of horrendous evil does not resolve evidential ambiguity in favour of atheism, there are reasonable value commitments that would preclude those who hold them from satisfying extended Jamesian fideist conditions for committing themselves to classical theism. I then begin a discussion of a possible revisionary theistic alternative (in the Christian tradition) which – one might hope – may meet those conditions. An earlier, shorter, version of this paper was delivered as a keynote address at the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
Keywords Fideism  Theism  Faith-venture  Faith  Justifiability of religious beliefs  Ethics of belief  Reformed epistemology  Concepts of God  Problem of evil  Social doctrine of the Trinity  Greatness qua being
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-007-9071-y
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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Problems of Religious Luck: Assessing the Limits of Reasonable Religious Disagreement.Guy Axtell - 2019 - Lanham, MD, USA & London, UK: Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield.
Global and Local Atheisms.Jeanine Diller - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 79 (1):7-18.

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