Why Take A Stance On God?

#1
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...ce-on-god/

SNIP This is the 10th in a series of interviews about religion that I [Gary Gutting] am conducting for The Stone. The interviewee for this installment is Keith DeRose, a professor of philosophy at Yale University and the author of “The Case for Contextualism: Knowledge, Skepticism, and Context.”

Gary Gutting: You’ve made the following statement: “Since atheists’ only real hope of knowing that God doesn’t exist would be through some kind of philosophical argument (perhaps some argument from evil), their knowing that God doesn’t exist doesn’t seem to me a very serious possibility.”

I think many atheists would object that it’s wrong to require them to have an argument showing that God doesn’t exist. They’d claim their atheism is justified simply because there are no good arguments in favor of theism. After all, it’s theists who are making an extraordinary claim. Isn’t the lack of evidence for the claim that God exists sufficient grounds for denying it? [...]
#2
(Oct 14, 2014 05:04 AM)C C Wrote: Gary Gutting: You’ve made the following statement: “Since atheists’ only real hope of knowing that God doesn’t exist would be through some kind of philosophical argument (perhaps some argument from evil), their knowing that God doesn’t exist doesn’t seem to me a very serious possibility."

The statement in question seems to depend on the truth of the following hidden premise P:

Philosophical arguments aren't serious justification for knowledge claims.

That assertion may or may not be true. (It's an odd thing for a philosophy professor to suggest.)

There does seem to be something paradoxical about it:

How could somebody try to justify knowing P without simultaneously subverting the possibility of knowing P?




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