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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Academic nonsense, 1 Dec. 2013
This review is from: The Coherence Of Theism (Clarendon Library Of Logic And Philosophy) (Paperback)
Academic nonsense or academic dribble. Technical proofs within the "coherence theory of truth" discipline to prove or invalidate questions which in the final analysis give us no better understanding of what or who God is anyway. Written by someone who has dissected a whole minutia of theological arguments that he has become so analytical that the reason for doing the analysis in the first place seems to have dissapeared. The dissections read like an anatomist dissecting the wings of a bird to discover the mechanism of flight. They become mostly linguist confusions. He concludes that in the end the basic argument of the concept of the existence of God or of theistic belief as being coherent or incoherent cannot be proved, and all those theological arguments which are based on analogical sematics could only extremely rarely be proved true or false in the first place to begin with, (and this is where almost all the theological arguments lie). So why bother with this attempt? At the end of reading this book you may very likely come away feeling that a good analytical mind has wasted its time in meaningless minutia. The feeling is of a technician x-raying a painting of Velasquez etc. to understand what Velasquez's art is all about or somesuch idea. This work makes you think that certain modes of thinking and analysis are useless for trying to obtain certainty about certain concepts or beliefs and will never lead to an understanding of the most absolute of concepts as God. Thank God one could say that the holy sanctuary of the divine realm is protected from such meaningless analysis. Better yet, like Leibniz once said of Descartes, just assume that you must take certain things for granted without the absolute certainty you may want and get on with life, in this case with your belief in God and your prayers if you are a believer, or with your un-belief if you are an athetist. If you're interested in what Swinburne has tried to do, I suggest that you read the last 2 pages in a library. You will not have missed really much of anything and you will have saved yourself mental pain and alot of time wasted.
Quoting from Don Cupitt on the coherence argument:"Philosophers have become interested in the idea of the coherence of theism because they think it is not their business to settle questions of FACT and so they must chastely restrict themselves to more formal questions about what is and is not conceivable; questions about, not what IS so, but what must be so, what may conceivably be so, and what cannot possibly be so. This type of logicism is an appropriate method for subjests like mathematics, where meanings are clear, fixed invariable things, very precisely analysable, but in such areas as religion, morality, art and politics meanings are plainly not like that."
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Location: Italy

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