By Humphrey Palmer (auth.)
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Extra resources for Analogy: A Study of Qualification and Argument in Theology
It is possible to state these facts correctly, or to get them muddled up. Ideally, the judgement as to whether they are muddled or got straight is an objective one, uninfluenced by the judge's own philosophical position on other matters. And ideally we should be able to keep these analytic questions quite distinct from religious disputes, in which objectivity is not even usually an aim. But in practice things are rather different. e. in not letting one's views on other matters interfere with one's judgement on the point under analysis - it is very difficult to separate the philosophical issues from religious ones.
People think of it as a form of philosophical casuistry, a learned way of saying that black is near to grey and therefore almost white. Why don't you religious people just say what you mean, then like others you'll be able to mean exactly what you say! 7 I am not concerned to attack or defend theologians on this score, but to get the theories clear. If a theologian appeals at some stage to some theory of analogy, it seems fair to ask him to put it at the beginning of his book. If it saves some of his theses it must presumably apply to all of them.
We can know it or them, he says, only in the way in which they appear to our minds, not as they really are quite apart from our thought of them. But we can know that they (or it) exist, for there must be some real nature-ofthings, otherwise how could there be appearances or phenomena of them for us to observe? e. it cannot be any further and reliably described. * 16 Will the way of denial get us anywhere? That depends where we are when we begin. To a plain ordinary man it will furnish plenty of undeniable and useless truths about the Absolute, without yielding real insight or allowing him really to say anything.