Saturday, December 29, 2007

Owen Flanagan on Quietism

“The failure of the arguments that there is a God warrants quietism. ...When we try to speak of God, we attempt to go outside the world, to transcend the concepts that are required for us to have coherent thoughts. ...The quietism I am recommending involves resisting the question, saying that I cannot speak on the issue (nor can you, despite your willingness to do so) because we have reached the limits of language. I am being asked to speak about matters on which I cannot coherently or sensibly entertain thoughts. ...The quietist thinks that there is nothing worth saying, nothing sensible to be said, either about any conceivable positive characterization of God or about the denial of any characterization. Some people will see this quietist as tantamount to an atheist, and that may be a reasonable way to understand her. But she is not an atheist who disbelieves a certain conception of God. She sees no basis to coherently believe to be true or false any claim for any God.” (pp 207-208, The Problem of the Soul)

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