The Elusive God Reorienting
The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology By Paul K. Moser is Ebook Paul Moser is an American analytic philosopher who writes on epistemology and the philosophy of religion He is professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and editor of American Philosophical Quarterly He is the author of many works in epistemology and the philosophy of religion, in which he has supported versions of epistemic foundationalism and volitional theism His latest work brings these two positions together to support volitional evidentialism about theistic belief, in contrast to fideism and traditional natural theology His work draws from some epistemological and theological insights of Blaise Pascal, John Oman, and H H Farmer, but adds i a notion of purposively available evidence of God s existence, ii a notion of authoritative evidence in contrast with spectator evidence, and iii a notion of personifying evidence of God whereby some willing humans become salient evidence of God s existence.. Three questions motivate this book s account of evidence for the existence of God First, if God s existence is hidden, why suppose He exists at all Second, if God exists, why is He hidden, particularly if God seeks to communicate with people Third, what are the implications of divine hiddenness for philosophy, theology, and religion s supposed knowledge of God This booThree questions motivate this book s account of evidence for the existence of God First, if God s existence is hidden, why suppose He exists at all Second, if God exists, why is He hidden, particularly if God seeks to communicate with people Third, what are the implications of divine hiddenness for philosophy, theology, and religion s supposed knowledge of God This book answers these questions on the basis of a new account of evidence and knowledge of divine reality that challenges skepticism about God s existence The central thesis is that we should expect evidence of divine reality to be purposively available to humans, that is, available only in a manner suitable to divine purposes in self revelation This lesson generates a seismic shift in our understanding of evidence and knowledge of divine reality The result is a needed reorienting of religious epistemology to accommodate the character and purposes of an authoritative, perfectly loving God.. Popular Books The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology Paul Moser has conclusive evidence that God exists. Sounds impressive, until we learn that the evidence is essentially his conscience, or rather, his guilty conscience. Moser interprets the pangs of conscience, and his reaction to them, as a god that personally communicates commands and empowers obedience, at least insofar as Moser adjusts his thoughts and behavior to conform to the perceived demands of his conscience/god.What is this god like? It is, says Moser, a perfectly loving god. From this premise, Moser derives other attributes with an alacrity comparable to the deduction of Herr Krug's pen from Hegel's Absolute. Dozens of times throughout the book, Moser invokes the formula, "A perfectly loving god would [INSERT AN ATTRIBUTE, ATTITUDE OR ACTION]." For example:"a perfectly loving God would work by killing attitudes obstructing life in order to bring life." (Location 420.)"a perfectly loving God would seek to break down self-destructive opposition to God (at least in cases where there’s hope for correction), but not by means of a counterproductive direct assault." (555.)"a perfectly loving God as creator would have a right to take a human life and thus terminate the exercise of a human will, in accordance with moral perfection." (562.)"a perfectly loving God would allow certain kinds of pain and suffering." (1003.)"a perfectly loving God would sometimes hide in ways that allow people to have serious doubts about God, even at times when they apparently need God’s felt presence." (2434.)Moser never provides the reasoning by which he connects his general premise of a perfectly loving god to his conclusion of a specified attribute. He simply makes these proclamations as if the attributes were self-evident given the general premise.Once Moser has compiled his lengthy list of attributes for "a perfectly loving God worthy of worship" he then commences a search through the world's religions for an acceptable candidate that might satisfy these requirements and be deserving of Moser's adoration. At the start, all gods that are not monotheistic are summarily rejected. Allah does not last long either, and Moser then proceeds to the "God of Jewish and Christian monotheism." (952.) Moser is quick to point out that he does not assume such a god exists, and then continues to further pare the candidates.We learn that the Psalmist said things about Yahweh that do not square with Moser's perfectly loving god, so Moser gravitates toward Christian theism and the sayings of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. (4115.) Moser expressly denies that the Bible itself possesses any inherent authority when it comes to knowledge of the perfectly loving god. (3224.) It appears that Moser alone is the ultimate authority on that topic, and statements in the Bible are only useful insofar as they affirm Moser's own view of god. Those who understand Jesus and Paul's words as revealing a deity that differs from Moser's god are portrayed as idol worshippers with morally distorted views of the divine. (2278.) This includes Protestants. (2283.)But Moser's own knowledge of the perfectly loving god is largely derived from a source that Moser himself denounces. Moser rejects natural theology on the ground that it purports to establish a deity's existence through objective rational argument instead of the subjective experience of a guilty conscience and obedience to the conscience, which Moser claims is the only foundation for conclusive evidence and knowledge of god. Yet, when Moser creates his list of attributes for the perfectly loving god, he relies entirely on rationalizations and does not purport to establish these attributes upon the inward movements of his own conscience. For example, when Moser states that god has the right to take human life and terminate the exercise of human will, Moser derived this conclusion from his assumed premise that god is perfectly loving. Moser made no attempt to ground this knowledge on his experience of the inner workings of his conscience.Also, Moser provides no explanation as to why he attributes the movements of his conscience to a god. Again, he seems to be borrowing a page from natural theology by suggesting that man's moral sensibility evinces the voice of a deity that alternatively convicts or approves his thought and actions. Even assuming that Moser perceives his conscience as operating in this way, he never explains how he makes the leap from the subjective experience of his own conscience to an objective, transcendent god.In addition, there is not only a circularity in Moser's theory of divine knowledge, but the circle is broken as well. According to Moser, before god reveals conclusive evidence and knowledge of himself to someone, that person must first become "attuned" to god by wholeheartedly determining to subjugate his own will to god’s will (by obeying the dictates of his conscience). Yet, Moser also states that before one can become attuned to god, he most first have an accurate understanding of the true nature and demands of this god, otherwise the person will tune-in to a cognitive idol of his own making. Therefore, before a person can obtain true knowledge from god, the person must already possess true knowledge of god. Moser does not explain how that is possible.Finally, what if Moser is wrong? What if the true God is different than Moser's idealization of a perfectly loving god? After all, Moser never establishes his own authority to speak on behalf of God, and he recognizes no authority beyond himself and his own conscience. If Moser is wrong, then all the errors he assigns to other people's conception of god turn back upon his own. If he is wrong, then his perfectly loving god is nothing more than "a convenient idol of my own making" and Moser becomes the willing recipient of "at most a counterfeit." (2629; 2656.) Moser's theory of divine knowledge provides no basis for discerning whether a given conception of god, including Moser's own, is correct or counterfeit.Under Moser's epistemology, a true knowledge of God would remain as elusive as ever.
The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Moser s theory of divine knowledge provides no basis for discerning whether a given conception of god, including Moser s own, is correct or counterfeit Under Moser s epistemology, a true knowledge of God would remain as elusive as ever. The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Epistemology May , The result of such an investigation is a re conceptualization of the epistemological landscape relevant to the possibility of the knowledge of God Jonathan Kvanvig, Baylor University The Elusive God is clearly a profound and illuminating treatment on as big an issue as issues get Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Epistemology by Jan , The Elusive God book Read reviews from the world s largest community for readers Three questions motivate this book s account of evidence for the exi Cambridge Scholars Publishing The Elusive God Jan , The Elusive God The Elusive God Author s Yakir Z Shoshani, Asher Z Yahalom Book Description What meanings can be ascribed to the existence of God This question has been investigated by prominent thinkers throughout the ages, and led several of them to suggest arguments for proving this existence and explaining its meaning The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Epistemology The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Epistemology Published December , Paul K Moser, The Elusive God Reorienting Religious Epistemology, Cambridge UP, , pp . pbk , ISBN Reviewed by Bruce Russell, Wayne State University Many of our beliefs are justified on the basis of experiences, where experiences are non propositional mental states,