Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reasonableness of Christianity Round-Up

Is Christianity reasonable? The answer depends largely on what one means by 'reasonable': strongly rationally justified; somewhat rationally justified; permissible in public political debate and decision; meriting serious rational engagement. BGSU philosophy professor Kevin Vallier argues that Christianity is reasonable, and his initial argument has brought forth a bevy of responses.

At first, I took Vallier to be arguing for the weak thesis that Christianity merits serious rational engagement by non-Christian philosophers. But now, I think he might be arguing for one of the stronger theses involving rational justification. If he chooses the weak thesis, this is much easier to argue for, but its implications are less interesting and controversial (most atheists don't want Christians banned from public policy debates, for example). If he chooses one of the stronger theses, he will have a much more difficult time mounting a successful argument (for the reasons noted below by fellow BGSU philosophy professor Richard Yetter)!

1. Kevin Vallier's initial argument in support of the reasonableness of Christianity.

2. Richard Yetter's reply.

3. Jason Brennan's post about some of the different senses of the word 'reasonable' in play. Brennan notes that 'reasonable' has a technical meaning in the political philosophy literature that might be escaping some people engaged in this debate.

4. Vallier clarifies what he means by 'reasonable'.

5. Vallier's tries to prove that Christianity is reasonable.

To be continued!
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