Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 24, number 70, abril 1992
Status y verificación de la creencia religiosa
Alejandro Tomasini Bassols
Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Abstract: In this paper I try to show, having recourse mainly to two Wittgensteinian concepts (viz., criteria and family resemblances), what the conditions for ascription of religious beliefs are. I emphasize the use of religious language and religious praxis. From this perspective, the question of how is a religious belief verified changes dramatically. The point of this analysis is to make clear why to interpret religious beliefs (and assertions) as factual beliefs is radically misguided. This does not mean that wc cannot speak at all of “religious verification”, but only that ‘verification’ in this context must mean something quite different from what it means in, say, scientific contexts. I discuss Hick’s views on “escatological verification” and try to show why the concept is spureous and, accordingly, why it cannot work. Finally, I attempt to show that the impossibility of empirical verification of religious belief commits a believer with a rejection of classical theism but not with any kind of irrationalism.

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