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Title: Natural and supernatural religion
Author: Williams, M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis asks one fundamental question that is either implicit or explicit in each part. The underlying question is whether religious belief rests on a belief in a supernatural existence for its sense. I argue that this is not so, and that the sense of religious concepts does not presuppose any supernatural existence. In Part One I discuss the philosophical landscape that we have inherited from Hume, and how H.O. Mounce’s attempt to re-interpret Hume’s criticisms of religion, in the light of Hume’s own naturalist tendencies, still cannot reach any supernatural existence. In Part Two, I focus on two ways that seem to imply a supernatural existence ‘beyond’ us. The first concerns the concept of power; the second concerns our ethical life. Both seem to presuppose some sort of a supernatural existence. The former seems to do so through the notion of the power of God as that which is experienced entering human life from another realm; the latter, because morality seems to require that the injustices we experience in life needs correcting, if not in this life, then in a life after death. In Part Three my concern is to explore the possibility of the religious sense of the supernatural. In this respect, I challenge the assumption that the meaning of ‘the existence of God’ entails a belief in a supernatural being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available