The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Religious Agnostic

Nice quote I had occasion to look back at today:

Since, however, I regard God's existence as a real possibility, I whole-heartedly agree with Price that it is reasonable--indeed, I would say rationally required--for me to behave differently than I would if I were an atheist. For example, I ought to pray--unlike the atheist, I believe there just might be a God listening. More generally, I ought to do what I can to cultivate or at least prepare for a relationship with God.

Paul Draper, "Seeking But Not Believing," in Divine Hiddenness: New Essays


At Wednesday, January 23, 2008 3:00:00 AM, Blogger Vlastimil Voh├ínka said...

So, as I understand, Draper claims that if one regards the existence of God as a real possibility, then she should pray. Are his reasons for this claim of the Pascal's Wager sort?

Many people call themselves "atheists" in the sense of regarding God's existence as improbable and take this existence as a real possibility, but reject prayer as futile. Draper seems to be an exception. I'm surprised by his words because, in the end, he's the current chief editor of Philo. (Q. Smith, the founder of Philo, also conceives of himself as an atheist in the given sense, but, according to notes of his friend Bill Vallicella, he has never regarded the reality of God as a real possibility.)

I wonder whether Draper really prays and (if he does, then) how often.

At Wednesday, January 23, 2008 11:41:00 AM, Blogger Trent_Dougherty said...

It's similar to Pascal's wager, but should not be called an instance of it. I think it's fair to call it broadly Pascalian thinking though. I have some doubts about his sincerity because of sarcasms spread here and there and because his published work seems stacked on one side. That could all be misleading, though, and I have no doubt that he believes what he says and, like most of us, practices it variably.

At Monday, February 04, 2008 7:38:00 PM, Blogger ZZMike said...

I sometimes wonder who spends more time thinking about God - us or the atheists.


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