By Garth L. Hallett
Charting a "middle manner" among the extremes represented via Alvin Plantinga and Richard Swinburne, Garth Hallett explores the thesis that if trust in different minds is rational and precise (as it definitely is), so too is trust in God. He makes a robust case that once this parity declare is thoroughly limited to a unmarried, sound other-minds trust, trust in God and trust in different minds do turn out epistemically related. This consequence, and the particular course that results in it, will curiosity scholars and students in philosophy of faith and theology.
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Additional info for A Middle Way to God
It is less clear that they satisfy the second criterion, that they be epistemically neutral. Take the final item. Merleau-Ponty, notes Luijpen, "asks himself whether the idea of God as a Necessary Being does not unavoidably imply and include the idea of an Emperor of the World. "79 The suggested implication may be mistaken, but if Merleau-Ponty's surmise were correct, wouldn't his rejection of God be epistemically well grounded? Yes, in the sense that he would have good reason to want God not to exist, but not to suppose that God does not exist.
And again, it is no more than thatan influence, a subtle psychological conditioning, not an argument. Add sufficient factors of this and other nonepistemic varieties, such as those just sampled, and the Subjective Disparity Problem would dwindle or disappear. It would become clear that belief in God and belief in other minds may differ less in epistemic merit than their present subjective, demographic disparity suggests. In explanation of this disparity, Plantinga and others in the Reformed tradition have stressed human finitude and our sinful condition.
But the reasons given for it were so varied and so bad that one must look elsewhere for its origin. How might we explain the rise of this theory at this moment in the history of Western thought? The answer is not far to seek. The theory's rise coincided with the rise of mathematical science, in which all the thinkers I have mentioned were deeply immersed (even Hobbes, obsessed with motion, spent years studying optics). But the properties most amenable to mathematical treatmentthose that could be measuredwere precisely the primary properties.
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