True Dr Wonderful, but do you have at least the suspicion that if there were not an Abramic God, right now today, a vast percentage of bullets, bombs and death would not be? You may say that these Abramic God people would find something else to kill for instead of their God, but what if we were creative enough to provide the children, all the children, clean water, a toilet, and parents who earn a livable wage?
What if…..does not answer what is. WW-I, WW-II, Korea, Vietnam all were fought with religion having little or nothing to do with the reasons.
It’s kind of a tough question to analyze in good faith. I mean, the immediate impulse is to apply some broad psychoanalysis under the assumption that such a conviction is necessarily a delusion. And an especially narcissistic and self serving delusion at that. People believe such stuff because of childhood indoctrination and the fear of death right?
Now this is, in fact basically how I feel about such beliefs but I don’t like leading an argument with such a dismissive sentiment. I prefer to assume as much rationality and positive intent on the part of someone who disagrees me as possible and articulate our disagreement on the basis of reasons. Rather than psychoanalysis or ad hominem. For the simple reason that this is how I’d prefer my own views to be received should the tables be turned.
But I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to entertain such expansive claims, even for the sake of argument. What hypothetical truth conditions can you apply? What sort of evidence would qualify to demonstrate the intentions of such a being or his authorship of any particular book?
I’d suggest that we might actually ignore the question of exclusivity or at least not treat it as a special feature. I’m actually a bit sympathetic to the theistic retort about how every position is a faith position and every worldview is totalizing. That is to say, evidence only occurs in context so we can’t really purport to prove a hypothesis about the whole of reality. Because there is no control. No point of reference. Plus, any worldview that endeavors specificity will be exclusive in the same way. In other words, if some reductionist-naturalist view is adopted it is adopted as the exclusive blueprint of reality.
So its not that monotheisms claim to be exclusively true (I think) Rather its because the individual belief systems are incoherent and require an ever more cumbersome array of double standards and fallacious arguments to square them with a contemporary and scientifically literate common-sense.
If some religion could demonstrate its truth it would earn the bonus of exclusivity by default. There is no sense is making universal claims and then tripping over your feet in the effort to be generous to every competitor.