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    Religious Ambiguity and Religious Diversity

    By: Robert McKim

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    The religious ambiguity of the world has many aspects, one of which is the hiddenness of God. Theists have proposed a number of explanations of God's hiddenness. Some putative explanations contend that the advantages of God's hiddenness ("goods of mystery") outweigh whatever benefits would result if God's existence and nature were clear to us ("goods of clarity"). Goods of mystery that have received a lot of discussion include human moral autonomy and the ability on our part to exercise control over whether we believe in the existence of God. The extent of the ambiguity that surrounds God's existence, and indeed all important religious matters, combined with our lack of an obviously correct and adequate explanation of this lack, suggest that, even if God exists, it is not important that people believe in God. Another central theme in the book is the significance of religious diversity for religious belief. The character of this diversity is such that it provides people who take a position on religious matters with reason to adopt the "Critical Stance" -- which requires people in all the religious traditions to subject their religious beliefs to critical scrutiny and hold those beliefs in a tentative way.Some contend that religious faith requires complete confidence in what is believed but tentative belief actually is sufficient to sustain many forms of religious commitment.

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