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Religious Truth and Religious Diversity

Hilberg, Nathan S. (2006) Religious Truth and Religious Diversity. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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When interpreting religion one faces a dilemma. Realist interpretations of religion face the philosophical problem of religious diversity and irrealist interpretations of religion are revisionary. There are two fundamentally different forms of religious irrealism. One, religious anti-realism, describes those who deny that the objective truth conditions by which a given instance of religious language would be true obtain. The other, religious non-realism, describes those who hold that for a given instance of religious language there are no objective truth conditions; that is, a given instance of religious language does not express a proposition. Taking this distinction into account clarifies much of the confusion involved in discussions of religious realism. Providing such clarity with respect to the issues associated with religious realism and religious irrealism is a theme throughout the dissertation. The other goals of the dissertation involve examining the issues raised by the aforementioned dilemma. Realist interpretations of religion are those that maintain for a particular instance of religious language to be true, that which is described by that language must obtain independently of what we do, say or believe. For realism, only that p objectively obtains can make "p" true. It is for this reason that realist interpretations face the philosophical problem of religious diversity. The world's religious landscape is marked by similarly credible but conflicting truth claims. On a realist conception one religion's claim to ultimate truth necessarily conflicts with that of another if these claims diverge. An examination of the epistemological issues raised by these similarly credible but conflicting claims to religious truth constitutes the first portion of the dissertation. For religious irrealism, the truth conditions of a given instance of religious language are dependent on what we do, say or believe. On this view, "God exists" can be considered true even if by "God exists" we mean something other than that God exists. The truth of "God exists" thus depends on something other than that God exists and as such exemplifies the revisionary character of religious irrealism. The second portion of the dissertation examines these issues as they concern irrealist interpretations of religion.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hilberg, Nathan S.nhilberg@pitt.eduNHILBERG
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairEdwards, Tonytedwards@pitt.eduTEDWARDS
Committee CoChairGale,
Committee MemberOrbach, Alexanderorbach@pitt.eduORBACH
Committee MemberWilson,
Committee MemberRockmore,
Date: 2 June 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 March 2006
Approval Date: 2 June 2006
Submission Date: 27 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Religion (Cooperative Program in the study of)
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ludwig Wittgenstein; realism; religious pluralism; revisionism; William Alston
Other ID:, etd-04272006-102136
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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