By Kai Nielsen (auth.)
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Extra info for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
32 No sense has been given to what it would be like to act or behave in the required way without a body. Being good and being loving are on Ziffs account supposedly unproblematic conditions, but it is evident from the above that they are problematic when applied THE INTELLIGIBILITY OF GOD-TALK 37 to a 'disembodied being' or 'Pure Spirit'. In fact 'problematic' seems too weak a word, for we have no more understanding of what is meant here than we have when we say 'a Plymouth talks faster than a Ford'; 'a Plymouth talks' has no use in the language.
The unfolding of the argument here will lead us to see both how an argument of ZifPs type cannot be decisive for questions about whether Godtalk is coherent, and how considerations arising from this discussion naturally push us back to a reconsideration of the plausibility of using the verifiability principle in such contexts. IV Such very different philosophers as John Hick and Paul 34 THE PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION Edwards deploy some arguments against Ziff that, at the very least, raise serious questions concerning the viability of his analysis.
To make his case here convincing, Ziff, perhaps by using an argument like Hume's or Nowell-Smith's, would have to give good grounds for claiming that miracles are either in some way impossible or that they never have occurred or that they could ever occur is highly improbable. 9 That Ziff does not do. I think he could defend such a claim, but simply to make reference to physics in the way he does is superficial and unconvincing and rightly brings forth criticisms on this score by such different philosophers as Hoffman and Edwards, on the one hand, and Father Clarke on the other.