By David A. Pailin
Booklet by means of Pailin, David A.
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Extra info for Groundwork of Philosophy of Religion
W e perish. While the effects and memories of some of our attainments may survive us for a time, in the end they will share our oblivion. H u m a n beings can give only very limited significance to h u m a n being. O g d e n also maintains that the ultimate significance of human choices cannot be justified by reference to G o d ' s awareness of them if the classical view of G o d is correct. This is because that view regards the divine as 'a reality wholly necessary and absolute, and so without real internal relations to the contingent beings of which he is the g r o u n d ' .
It is, however, a view of theology which is to be fundamentally questioned. For one thing it apparently makes the identification of the authentic nature of faith a non-theological matter. This odd conclusion comes about because if theologians are simply to expound the faith of a community, they must start with that 'faith' as given. If, then, disputes arise within the community about what does and what does not have a place in its faith, theologians cannot even try to help find a solution. All they can do is to say, if you hold that the faith is constituted in this way, then this theology will express it; and if you hold it is constituted in that way, then that theology will express it.
Thirdly, theologians should, I suggest, be as concerned about truth as about the contents of the faith of a given community. T o the extent that they are committed to a particular faith, it is presumably because they regard it as containing the truth about G o d , the world 40 G R O U N D W O R K OF P H I L O S O P H Y OF RELIGION and h u m a n being. If, however, their investigations into the contents of faith show that it is making false claims, it would be odd to hold that they must see their role as one of trying to hide the truth and bolster the error.
Groundwork of Philosophy of Religion by David A. Pailin