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« Nietzsche and democracy | Main | Modal Realism and Oracles »

December 10, 2009


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Jim Farmelant

I would think that the reason why there is such a difference in views, concerning theism, between philosophers of religion and philosophers in general, might simply be one of self-selection. That is people who take religious claims seriously are more likely to become philosophers of religion, while atheistic philosophers are perhaps less likely to see religion as being a peculiarly interesting source of philosophical problems to which they would want to devote their professional careers. In other words, it may be the case that the non-theistic philosophers, who, not taking religious claims so seriously, find other kinds of problems to be of greater interest and so devote their professional careers to doing things other than philosophy of religion.

It doesn't seem surprising to me that 'philosophers of religion' tend to be believers, no more than if a survey were taken of astrologers and the findings indicated many believed in the influence of the stars and planets on the human personality. It seems like it would be a self-selecting set. Whether it's probative of anything about the claims of religion is another story.

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