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At the outset of this discussion, it must be admitted that a conceit underpins the choice of topic here. While tasked with using a contemporary topic in politics or religion, i.e. a “moral” issue, as a starting point, the topic of this paper is at the same time both contemporary and the oldest of all political and religious topics: God. It is contemporary and salient as a “topic” because religious dimensions have become inextricable parts of our national politics, with some particularly dogmatic strains represented at the highest levels of government and current electoral politics. More specifically, the focus of this paper is not on topics like abortion or same-sex marriage, which are fraught with religious politics (and political religion). Rather, this discussion takes up the largely rational and epistemological issues which underpin “knowledge” of God and religiosity more broadly.
The justification for this choice is itself epistemological: With candidates and office-holders asserting their religion-given, blessing-bestowed certainty on all manner of positions, it is useful to delve into some of the epistemological underpinnings of such knowledge...
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