By Garth L. Hallett
Charting a "middle approach" among the extremes represented through Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, Garth Hallett explores the thesis that if trust in different minds is rational and precise (as it without doubt is), so too is trust in God. He makes a robust case that after this parity declare is safely limited to a unmarried, sound other-minds trust, trust in God and trust in different minds do turn out epistemically similar. This end result, and the specified direction that results in it, will curiosity scholars and students in philosophy of faith and theology.
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Additional resources for A Middle Way to God
These few words briefly describe the mentality of modern man living in our technological culture. It is said man no longer feels the need of God because he has learned to save himself. 15 Obviously, no such attitude does or could extend to other minds. Science and technology are social, not individual, achievements. Hence, in this case the influence is again one-sided. And again, it is no more than thatan influence, a subtle psychological conditioning, not an argument. Add sufficient factors of this and other nonepistemic varieties, such as those just sampled, and the Subjective Disparity Problem would dwindle or disappear.
44 As Davis's examples attest, the influences of our "willing nature" are many and varied. To organize discussion and permit perspicuous assessment, I shall gather them under some major headingsfirst for belief in God, then against belief in God. 45 In the first listing, of propensities and preferences favoring belief in God, we need not directly consider theories such as those of Feuerbach, Freud, and Marx, according to which human beings have tended to project their own traits and ideals onto religious objects.
Though a decisive psychological difference between these two cases proves difficult to pinpoint, 32 the epistemic difference between them seems clear. The perceived traits relate to and support the truth of my belief, whereas Galileo's perspective bore no relationship to the truth of his belief. The world may look green to someone wearing green glasses, but the glasses do not make the world green or make its greenness any more likely. The same contrast holds for our belief that we see people and not just our brains, and for the countless other beliefs that this belief represents.