PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

425 Pages ·2002·1.12 MB ·English

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION



PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION





“As a contemporary introduction to philosophy of religion, it is a God-send


or, if you prefer, a dharma-gift. Keith Yandell succeeds admirably in


producing a textbook which has clarity, wit and rigour and that engages


religion in its historical and cultural diversity . . . He grasps that religious


traditions are irreducibly different: they make different types of claims,


argue from different sorts of grounds, cultivate diverse values and aim at


divergent goals.”


John Clayton, Boston University




“The central strength of the book is its willingness to argue points out in


detail rather than just reporting on arguments. It is a model of rigorous


argument applied to questions of religion.”


Mark Wynn, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane



Philosophy of Religion is one of the first comprehensive textbooks to


consider the subject with reference to religions other than Christianity. As


an experienced textbook author and an established generalist in philosophy


of religion, Keith Yandell deals lucidly and constructively with


representative views and competing issues from Judaism, Christianity,


Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. He also shows how such issues and


competing views can be rationally assessed. He includes discussion of major


philosophical figures in religious traditions as well as important


contemporary philosophers. This engaging text will appeal to students of


both philosophy and religion as well as to the general reader interested in


the subject.


Keith E. Yandell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of


Wisconsin at Madison. He has written widely on philosophy and


philosophy of religion and among his most recent books are Hume’s


“Inexplicable Mystery” (1990) and The Epistemology of Religious


Experience (1995).


Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy


Series Editor:


Paul K. Moser


Loyola University of Chicago


This innovative, well-structured series is for students who have already done


an introductory course in philosophy. Each book introduces a core general


subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but


substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that


subject. The series is accessible to nonspecialists and each book clearly


motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced. An orientating


chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material


they need to have retained from a typical introductory course. Considerable


attention is given to explaining the central philosophical problems of a subject


and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions. The


primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and


arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a


single position. The initial eight central books in the series are written by


experienced authors and teachers, and treat topics essential to a well-rounded


philosophy curriculum.


Epistemology


Robert Audi


Ethics


Harry Gensler


Metaphysics


Michael J. Loux


Philosophy of Art


Noel Carroll


Philosophy of Language


William G. Lycan


Philosophy of Mind


John Heil


Philosophy of Religion


Keith E. Yandell


Philosophy of Science


Alexander Rosenberg



PHILOSOPHY OF


RELIGION


A contemporary introduction







Keith E. Yandell







London and New York


Thanks are due to Karen Buege Yandell for illustrations of


the various Digitators.



First published in 1999


by Routledge


11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE


This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002.



Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada


by Routledge


29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001



© 1999 Keith E. Yandell



All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or


reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,


mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter


invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any


information storage or retrieval system, without permission


in writing from the publishers.



British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data


A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data


A catalog record for this book has been requested


ISBN 0-415-13213-4 (hbk)


ISBN 0-415-13214-2 (pbk)


ISBN 0-203-00708-5 Master e-book ISBN


ISBN 0-203-20854-4 (Glassbook Format) To Alvin Plantinga


—he led the way.


Contents



Preface xiii


Chapter 1: Introduction 1


PART I: PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION 9


Chapter 2: What is philosophy? What is religion? What is


philosophy of religion? 11


Philosophy 13


Objectivity 15


Religion 16


Philosophy of religion 17


Questions for reflection 18


Annotated reading 18


Chapter 3: What sorts of religion are there? 21


Monotheism 24


Advaita Vedanta 28


Jainism 30


Buddhism 31


Comparison 32


The criteria applied 32


Questions for reflection 34


Annotated reading 35


Chapter 4: What sorts of religious experience are there? 37


Structure and content 39


Descriptions 41


Criteria and their application 46


Questions for reflection 50


Annotated reading 50 viii CONTENTS


Chapter 5: The importance of doctrine and the distinctness of


religious traditions 51


Doctrine 53


“Truth-claims” 56


Identity 57


Diversity 61


Questions for reflection 64


Annotated reading 64


Chapter 6: Religious pluralism 65


Religious plurality and religious pluralism 67


The content of religious pluralism 67


Some religion-relevant consequences of RP 68


A critical discussion of RP: Part one 69


A critical discussion of RP: Part two 74


A critical discussion of RP: Part three 77


Questions for reflection 79


Annotated reading 79


PART II: RELIGIOUS CONCEPTIONS OF ULTIMATE


REALITY 81


Chapter 7: Monotheistic conceptions of ultimate reality 83


Generic philosophical monotheism 85


Greek monotheism 86


Semitic monotheism 89


Hindu monotheism 90


Monotheisms and atheisms 91


Questions for reflection 95


Annotated reading 96


Chapter 8: Nonmonotheistic conceptions of ultimate


reality 99


Advaita Vedanta Hinduism 102


Jainism and Buddhism 109


Conclusion 116


Questions for reflection 116


Annotated reading 116 CONTENTS ix


PART III: ARGUMENTS CONCERNING


MONOTHEISTIC CONCEPTIONS 119


Chapter 9: Arguments against monotheism 121


Three questions 123


The problem of evil 124


Failed escapes 125


The consistency issue 128


The evidential issue 131


Conclusion 161


Epilogue 161


Questions for reflection 164


Annotated reading 164


Chapter 10: Arguments for monotheism 167


Proof 169


Logical necessity 171


Purely conceptual proofs and the Ontological


Argument 174


Empirical proofs, argument strategies, and principles of


sufficient reason 181


Arguments by Thomas Aquinas 184


Questions for reflection 210


Annotated reading 211


Chapter 11: Monotheism and religious experience 213


Phenomenologically thick experiences 215


Experience as direct evidence 216


A principle of experiential evidence 218


Being evidence versus providing evidence 228


The evidential argument from religious experience 230


The principle of experiential evidence applied 231


Questions for reflection 235


Annotated reading 235




PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION





“As a contemporary introduction to philosophy of religion, it is a God-send


or, if you prefer, a dharma-gift. Keith Yandell succeeds admirably in


producing a textbook which has clarity, wit and rigour and that engages


religion in its historical and cultural diversity . . . He grasps that religious


traditions are irreducibly different: they make different types of claims,


argue from different sorts of grounds, cultivate diverse values and aim at


divergent goals.”


John Clayton, Boston University




“The central strength of the book is its willingness to argue points out in


detail rather than just reporting on arguments. It is a model of rigorous


argument applied to questions of religion.”


Mark Wynn, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane



Philosophy of Religion is one of the first comprehensive textbooks to


consider the subject with reference to religions other than Christianity. As


an experienced textbook author and an established generalist in philosophy


of religion, Keith Yandell deals lucidly and constructively with


representative views and competing issues from Judaism, Christianity,


Islam, Buddhism and Jainism. He also shows how such issues and


competing views can be rationally assessed. He includes discussion of major


philosophical figures in religious traditions as well as important


contemporary philosophers. This engaging text will appeal to students of


both philosophy and religion as well as to the general reader interested in


the subject.


Keith E. Yandell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of


Wisconsin at Madison. He has written widely on philosophy and


philosophy of religion and among his most recent books are Hume’s


“Inexplicable Mystery” (1990) and The Epistemology of Religious


Experience (1995).


Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy


Series Editor:


Paul K. Moser


Loyola University of Chicago


This innovative, well-structured series is for students who have already done


an introductory course in philosophy. Each book introduces a core general


subject in contemporary philosophy and offers students an accessible but


substantial transition from introductory to higher-level college work in that


subject. The series is accessible to nonspecialists and each book clearly


motivates and expounds the problems and positions introduced. An orientating


chapter briefly introduces its topic and reminds readers of any crucial material


they need to have retained from a typical introductory course. Considerable


attention is given to explaining the central philosophical problems of a subject


and the main competing solutions and arguments for those solutions. The


primary aim is to educate students in the main problems, positions and


arguments of contemporary philosophy rather than to convince students of a


single position. The initial eight central books in the series are written by


experienced authors and teachers, and treat topics essential to a well-rounded


philosophy curriculum.


Epistemology


Robert Audi


Ethics


Harry Gensler


Metaphysics


Michael J. Loux


Philosophy of Art


Noel Carroll


Philosophy of Language


William G. Lycan


Philosophy of Mind


John Heil


Philosophy of Religion


Keith E. Yandell


Philosophy of Science


Alexander Rosenberg



PHILOSOPHY OF


RELIGION


A contemporary introduction







Keith E. Yandell







London and New York


Thanks are due to Karen Buege Yandell for illustrations of


the various Digitators.



First published in 1999


by Routledge


11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE


This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002.



Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada


by Routledge


29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001



© 1999 Keith E. Yandell



All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or


reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,


mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter


invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any


information storage or retrieval system, without permission


in writing from the publishers.



British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data


A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data


A catalog record for this book has been requested


ISBN 0-415-13213-4 (hbk)


ISBN 0-415-13214-2 (pbk)


ISBN 0-203-00708-5 Master e-book ISBN


ISBN 0-203-20854-4 (Glassbook Format) To Alvin Plantinga


—he led the way.


Contents



Preface xiii


Chapter 1: Introduction 1


PART I: PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION 9


Chapter 2: What is philosophy? What is religion? What is


philosophy of religion? 11


Philosophy 13


Objectivity 15


Religion 16


Philosophy of religion 17


Questions for reflection 18


Annotated reading 18


Chapter 3: What sorts of religion are there? 21


Monotheism 24


Advaita Vedanta 28


Jainism 30


Buddhism 31


Comparison 32


The criteria applied 32


Questions for reflection 34


Annotated reading 35


Chapter 4: What sorts of religious experience are there? 37


Structure and content 39


Descriptions 41


Criteria and their application 46


Questions for reflection 50


Annotated reading 50 viii CONTENTS


Chapter 5: The importance of doctrine and the distinctness of


religious traditions 51


Doctrine 53


“Truth-claims” 56


Identity 57


Diversity 61


Questions for reflection 64


Annotated reading 64


Chapter 6: Religious pluralism 65


Religious plurality and religious pluralism 67


The content of religious pluralism 67


Some religion-relevant consequences of RP 68


A critical discussion of RP: Part one 69


A critical discussion of RP: Part two 74


A critical discussion of RP: Part three 77


Questions for reflection 79


Annotated reading 79


PART II: RELIGIOUS CONCEPTIONS OF ULTIMATE


REALITY 81


Chapter 7: Monotheistic conceptions of ultimate reality 83


Generic philosophical monotheism 85


Greek monotheism 86


Semitic monotheism 89


Hindu monotheism 90


Monotheisms and atheisms 91


Questions for reflection 95


Annotated reading 96


Chapter 8: Nonmonotheistic conceptions of ultimate


reality 99


Advaita Vedanta Hinduism 102


Jainism and Buddhism 109


Conclusion 116


Questions for reflection 116


Annotated reading 116 CONTENTS ix


PART III: ARGUMENTS CONCERNING


MONOTHEISTIC CONCEPTIONS 119


Chapter 9: Arguments against monotheism 121


Three questions 123


The problem of evil 124


Failed escapes 125


The consistency issue 128


The evidential issue 131


Conclusion 161


Epilogue 161


Questions for reflection 164


Annotated reading 164


Chapter 10: Arguments for monotheism 167


Proof 169


Logical necessity 171


Purely conceptual proofs and the Ontological


Argument 174


Empirical proofs, argument strategies, and principles of


sufficient reason 181


Arguments by Thomas Aquinas 184


Questions for reflection 210


Annotated reading 211


Chapter 11: Monotheism and religious experience 213


Phenomenologically thick experiences 215


Experience as direct evidence 216


A principle of experiential evidence 218


Being evidence versus providing evidence 228


The evidential argument from religious experience 230


The principle of experiential evidence applied 231


Questions for reflection 235


Annotated reading 235


Please note: To fully read this free PDF ebook completely for free you need .