By Kai Nielsen (auth.)
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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
To those who think they can understand it, it is well to ask them, in a concrete way, for the truth-conditions of their claims. If they can give none, we have good grounds for being sceptical that they, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, understand what they are saying. 34 . This consideration, which I admit is still ultimately fundamentally question-begging, gains in an indirect way added force when we recall that 'God's acts' and 'God's love' could have a use through an ancient concept of God in which God is thought to have a body.
In fact he thinks these old conundrums can be solved. They do not exhibit the unintelligibility or incoherence of God-talk. At this point in his argument Ziff is certainly, to put it conservatively, making it very easy for himself, while evading, by the simple expedient of dogmatic declamation, what many would take to be crucial problems about God-talk. How are these old problems to be solved? Are they genuine problems at all? Or are they muddles felt as problems? Why is it that there is no serious question concerning the intelligibility of these conceptions?
This is exemplified in some of Robert Hoffman's arguments against Zitrs account. 21 Hoffman makes what in effect is a verificationist argument against Ziff and I too would like to press some form of this argument. But it seems to me that Jack Glickman is perfectly 30 THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION correct in contending that Hoffman simply assumes this criterion of meaningfulness or intelligibility and thus does not meet Ziffs challenge, for Ziff does not assume such a criterion and, as we have seen, he gives us some reason to be wary of it.