Teizm – ateizm – religia. Mapa współczesnych sporów w filozofii religii

Słowa kluczowe: Word-view pluralism, theism, atheism, nature of God, God of philosophers, God of believers, theism-atheism debate and: science, changes in the moral landscape, the notion of truth, hypothetico-deductive methodology


In the article Theism – Atheism – Religion. The Map of Contemporary Disputes the following theses are defended: 1) The contemporary philosophy of religion in the English-speaking world is dominated by philosophers who represent the analytical tradition understood broadly as ensuring clarity and precision of discourse, focusing on arguments controlled by logic but a the same time sensitive to the history of the discipline and to the developments in continental philosophy. 2) While in the last decades of the 20th century the problem of religious pluralism has become a key problem for the philosophy of religion, in the first two decades of the present century this position was taken over by world-view pluralism in which the basic differences are related to the theism-atheism debate. 3) Contrary to scholars representing the empirical sciences on religion, those who practice the philosophy of religion are usually not neutral towards the subject of their research: they are defenders or critics of theism and religion. This attitude is in line with the commonly accepted hypothetico-deductive methodology, which emphasizes the key role of preliminary hypotheses in explaining any phenomena. Such hypotheses should be further modified or abandoned if they are falsified by empirical data. The “empirical” data that could falsify theism or atheism are not clearly defined, so it is difficult to completely refute the initial hypothesis adopted by the philosopher of religion. However, modifications of their initial content are quite common. 4) The traditional problem of proofs for the existence of God has acquired a ritual character in contemporary discussions in the philosophy of religion: the argument of the supporters and critics of these proofs are not difficult to predict. On the map of the current debate between theism and atheism, the issue of the nature of God is in the foreground, with less attention being paid to the attributes of the “God of philosophers” defined solely by highly abstract features than to the attributes of “God of religion”, that is, God to whom people pray and in whose name they undertake various actions. The questions that are asked concern, inter alia, the legitimacy of treating certain commands written in the Bible (or other books recognized as sacred) as divine. According to atheists they are exclusive product of historical and cultural conditions, and they often contradict today’s scientific and moral knowledge. 5) The debate also concerns the problem of proper understanding of what should be morally allowed and forbidden. Conservative religious believers see moral changes as a source of evil, and liberal atheists and theists regard them as significant progress. Another problem concerns alleged support given by contemporary sciences to atheism. This support is connected mainly with the assumptions of naturalism and randomness of the evolutionary process, the acceptance of which seems to constitute not only Darwinian theory of evolution but also the evolutionary paradigm that is dominant in majority of sciences. While one can try to reconcile this assumption with deism, pantheism and the concept of a God completely transcendent to human knowledge, it cannot be reconciled with theism that recognizes the existence of God as at least partially knowable designer of the universe. For this reason, defenders of theism question these assumptions as illegitimate or even as inconsistent with the belief that theory of evolution is true.