published on December 8, 2016
Thomas D. Sullivan
World-Maker, Mind-Maker, Revealer
Is religion “noxious rubbish to be buried as deeply, as thoroughly, and as quickly as possible”? Philip Kitcher tells us that’s the dominant idea among atheists. In this paper I take a step back from the minutiae of standard journal articles to dispute the broad atheistic claim, and in the process suggest there is in fact a great deal to be said for religious belief. I argue that: (1) It’s not highly implausible that there is a cause of the universe distinct from the universe—a World-Maker; (2) Because the act of cognizing instantiables is not purely a physical action, Christian teachings on the nature and status of humans are defensible against common claims to the contrary based on neo-Darwinism, and there’s reason to think the World-Maker is a Mind-Maker; (3) Kitcher’s case that there is no true religion is vulnerable to myriad objections, and since it’s been lauded as the best attack on the credibility of religion to date, it’s entirely reasonable not to abandon all religion, and in particular Christianity: there’s good reason for thinking the World-Maker and Mind-Maker is also a Revealer.