Against Theological Fictionalism

European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (2):427 - 437 (2011)
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Abstract

According to theological fictionalism, God has the same status as a fictional character in a novel or a movie. Such a claim has been defended by Robin Le Poidevin on the basis of Kendall Walton’s theory of make believe. But it is not only a philosophical esoteric account of religious beliefs, it is now an exoteric view, sometimes accepted by "believers" themselves, and so could even be considered a postmodern heresy. But theological fictionalism does not work: faith is real assent and not make believe; belief is different from acceptance; belief and faith are dispositional, but make believe seems to presuppose an account of beliefs as occurrent states; we cannot anymore imagine at will than we can believe at will

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