Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Maverick Philosopher Offers Salvation Today

Bill Vallicella gives a helpful analysis of salvation today. He's uncovered a different area of the terrain from what I've been preoccuppied with, and I'm sure there's more to be said. For example, Bill puts his finger on the difference between mystical Asian varieties of salvation and Judeo-Christian varieties. Here Bill has it right that the question is, Who is saved? Also, he mentions anti-religious salvation-deniers, which brings up the issue of the epistemic status of claims to salvation. I find the idea that there are no cases of salvation highly implausible, but only if I get to define "salvation" as I have been doing.

UPDATE: Bill offers criticism of my posts on salvation. He says my concept is thin beer and:

We must not so rig our terminology as to foreclose on the possibility of genuine salvation, salvation as it has been understood in the major religions. I'm not saying that there is salvation in this further, genuine sense. I am saying that we ought not, by a hasty terminological decision, to foreclose on its possibility.

I agree. I want to avoid illicit semantic maneuvers. What I'm trying to do is an explanatory reduction or an empirical reduction, not a definitional one. I do not want to foreclose possibilities but only to explain after possibilities have been pursued. For that reason I cannot take my case for salvation naturalized to be conclusive.