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By Anthony Thiselton

Masking thinkers from Plato to Freud, delivering targeted explainations of primary ideas, and outlining transparent definitions of complicated principles, this can be a finished reference device for all these learning, or attracted to, the philosophy of faith.

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What we ought to do by way of forming beliefs’ (John Locke and the Ethics of Belief, Cambridge: CUP, 1996, xv–xvi). 36 belief This is a very different account of ‘entitlement to believe’ from that suggested by W. K. Clifford (1845–79) on ‘The Ethics of Belief’ in his Lectures and Essays (1879). He argues that it is immoral to believe without sufficient evidence. He uses the example of a shipowner who sends people to sea in a ship concerning the seaworthiness of which he has well-founded doubts. Supposedly he persuades himself to ‘believe’ that a kindly Providence will guard this against mishap.

One of the most important conceptual influences bequeathed by Boethius for philosophy of religion was his formulation of a logic of eternity. Eternity was not to be conceived of as ‘human’ time stretched out in both directions. Boethius recognized that it belonged to God. Eternity is a mode of reality that grasped ‘the whole’ of past, present, and future as a whole. Eternity constituted most especially God’s own mode of existence. This is ‘the complete possession all at once (totum simul) of an illimitable life’.

The self is ‘narrow’ and capable of selfdeception (Confessions, I: 4: 4; 5: 6). , 8: 13). , II: 9: 17; cf. II: 4: 9; 6: 12). , IV: 6 :11; 8: 13). Books VI and VII trace his journey through serious engagement with Neoplatonism to his eventual openness to the Epistle to the Romans and Scripture. , VII: 9: 14). The theme of praise reiterates the privative view of evil. , 14: 20). Yet this language closely parallels Plotinus and Neoplatonism. ‘The evil which overtakes us has its source in selfwill .

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