Postmodernism and Pluralism

Alvin Plantinga

in Warranted Christian Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195131932
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867486 | DOI:
Postmodernism and Pluralism

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Continuing an examination of proposed defeaters for Christian belief, I turn in this chapter to postmodernism and religious pluralism. Some of the claims that can be plausibly labeled “postmodern” are claims that conflict with Christian belief; in the first section of this chapter, I examine some of these claims. Among other things, I inquire as to whether Christian belief is defeated by (1) an argument from the historically conditioned character of religious and philosophical belief, or by (2) the view, often associated with Richard Rorty, that human beings construct the truth. After arguing that neither (1) nor (2) provide a defeater for Christian belief, I examine the question of whether a defeater for Christian belief can be found in the fact of religious pluralism, the fact that the world displays a bewildering and kaleidoscopic variety of religious and antireligious ways of thinking, all pursued by people of great intelligence and seriousness. I then consider and respond to two such proposed defeaters, the second of which involves the charge that there is a sort of egoism, arrogance, or arbitrariness in accepting Christian belief given the fact of religious pluralism; in doing so, I look in some detail at an argument Gary Gutting gives for this charge.

Keywords: Christian belief; Gutting; pluralism; postmodernism; religious pluralism; Rorty; truth

Chapter.  18298 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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