Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's reasonable?

I think belief in God reasonable only if it is based on considerations available to all humans: not if it is claimed on the basis of a special message to oneself or to the group that one belongs. (from Anthony Kenny's "Knowledge, Belief, and Faith," in Philosophy 82: 381-397)
I don't know about you, but to me that seems plainly wrong; cf. how, were I to clearly see what could only (excluding the sort of sceptical possibilities that would allow us little scientific knowledge) be a UFO, my consequent belief in UFOs would be as reasonable as I am sane, sober and epistemically scrupulous (just as my beliefs about the particular things around me now are), as would the corresponding beliefs of those who (for good reasons, let's say) trust me. Of course God (the Creator of this Universe) would be quite unlike such Created things, but if there is a God then clearly S/he has chosen to be less obvious than, for example, arithmetic (about which we nonetheless contrive to disagree).

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