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Wednesday, September 07, 2016


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Obviously I agree with all this.

What does Dale say to your objection? (which seems to me a good one)

Your v2 seems to be what Aquinas says in ST ii-ii, 10, 3: "Nor is it possible for one who has a false opinion of God, to know Him in any way at all, because the object of his opinion is not God."

This text should prove an embarrassment to Ed Feser.

Thanks to RP for that passage, which deserves careful attention.

This is also why I have been looking at Plantinga, who is inspired both by Aquinas and by Calvin. The _sensus divinitatis_ . The knowledge that everybody supposedly has of God, implanted in the womb. This suggests V2 rather than V1. But I am puzzled. Divinitatis is an abstract noun, not a singular term. Can the muslim and the christian both have a sense of divinity in general? And hindus?

How do we interpret aquinas in this light?

"Nor is it possible for one who has a false opinion of (divinity in general), to know (divinity in general) in any way at all, because the object of his opinion is not (divinity in general)."

PS Plantinga does discuss the reference question briefly in a section concerned with the views of John Hick


Hick's views also look interesting.

"During this time he began to believe that sincere adherents of other faiths experience the Transcendent just as Christians do, though with variances due to cultural, historical, and doctrinal factors. These experiences led him to develop his pluralistic hypothesis, which, relying heavily on Kant’s phenomenal/noumenal distinction, states that adherents of the major religious faiths experience the ineffable Real through their varying culturally shaped lenses."


Would you agree that 'sense of the divine' is an adequate translation of *sensus divinitatis*? As opposed to 'sense of the divinity'?

I would go with the first translation. And then I would argue that this sense is inchoate, unarticulated, pre-conceptual, pre-propositional. And then I would be inclined to say that Jew, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu all have this sense.

Doctrinal differences and bitter conflicts emerge when we try to articulate with concepts and judgments this sense of the divine, the holy, the absolute, the transcendent, the morally normative.

I would say that the sense of the divine is prior to the distinction between V1 and V2.

Religion is in the heart before it's in the head.

I emailed you with an attachment which you may find interesting.

"There is no easy way to decide rationally between these two views."

Both of your V1 and V2 assume that there is a "true God" and that one side is "right" (or, at least, more right than the other). For completeness, there needs to be a V1a, that there is a "true God" and neither side is really right. More importantly, there needs to be "V3" -- there is no "true God" at all and both sides are worshipping products of their imagination.

Once V3 is considered, then the issue of "which view" becomes a bit easier to decide, at least in my opinion.

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