Beckwith's reecnt post points us to his response, published in the journal Synthese, to an attack by atheistic philosopher Barbara Forrest. One of the points Forrest attacks is Beckwith's religious exclusivism. Beckwith believes Christianity is true, and that other religious traditions are mistaken. I've quoted Beckwith's response below. Here's the reasoning.
- Forrest thinks Beckwith's claim that the worldview of Christian theism is true, thus other religious traditions are false, is epistemically suspect.
- But Forrest's own atheism/philosophical naturalism is a worldview. Forrest believes her worldview is true. This, automatically, entails that other worldviews are false.
- So Forrest's own worldview, on her criticsim of Beckwith, is itself epistemically suspect.
- The upshot: this kind of criticism cuts both ways.
"Nevertheless, Forrest argues, that there is something epistemically suspect in believing that one’s worldview is correct and other worldviews mistaken (
p. 371). She chides me, a believing Christian, for believing that Christianity is true,
and points out that I have in my published writings offered critical analyses of other
religious traditions that I believe are mistaken. I amnot sure what to make of this.After
all, Forrest is a believing atheist, committed to philosophical naturalism and what it
entails about the good, the true, and the beautiful (
Forrest 2000). She maintains that
her point of view is correct and other points of view are mistaken, including the point
of view that theological claims may in fact consist of beliefs that the believer has
adequate warrant to believe (
Forrest 2011, p. 371). So, she, like the Christian, believes
that she is correct about her beliefs. And she, like the Christian, believes that other
points of view are mistaken. But then she is in precisely the same position as me: she
thinks she is right and others wrong. Thus, on her own grounds, her critique of my
work ought to be rejected as epistemically suspect, and I need not worry about it. But
she should not worry either. For, as the immortal Frank Sinatra once put it, “That’s