Argument or blind faith?
In asking whether ‘religion is something that you can argue about’ (Question (K) in the list in the previous section), I’m not asking whether it’s possible to have a conflict or a row about religion. All too obviously, that’s perfectly possible – history is full of such conflicts. What I’m asking is whether religion is something we can argue philosophically about. And in philosophy, argument doesn’t mean having a row or a conflict between different viewpoints. Philosophical argument is about giving evidence, perhaps even proofs, for your viewpoint – evidence or proofs that you hope others might be convinced by.
In philosophy, an argument for a claim is a series of statements that somebody makes or might make, giving reasons to believe that claim.
Evidence for a claim means facts or experiences or data or any reasonable assumptions that can be given to support a claim – the kind of things that someone might mention in a good argument for the claim.
So can there be successful philosophical arguments about God and religion? Here is a little dialogue between three people – Ada, Bert and Carl – who give different answers to this question. Which of them are you nearest to agreeing with?