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Working paper

Believing the Self-Contradictory

The Right to Believe: Perspectives in Religious Epistemology. ISBN 9783868381320. Ontos Verlag, 2012
An argument for the rationality of religious belief in the existence of God is defended. After reviewing three preconditions for rational belief, I show reasons to privilege the criterion of consistency. Taking the inconsistency of the religious belief in God and the belief in the scientificworld picture as the impediment to a rational belief in God, I propose that we can overcome thisobjection by assuming, firstly, that God is a universal class. This allows us to put the problem of God in set-theoretic terms, such that the antinomy that follows from such an assumption can beovercome by assuming that God is not a subject but a strict class that cannot be individuated. I conclude that that the self-contradictory nature of God does not prevent the believer from making arational, ethical assessment that the contradiction resides in the possibility of using language toexplain his existence, but that this does not make belief in the existence of God unjustifiable – onthe contrary. In this way, we can say statements that claim God exists are justifiable.