EPISTEMIC PROBLEMS WITH HICK’S DIVERSITY MODELDomenic Marbaniang
Hick’s arguments for diverse, and often contradictory, religious responses to“Ultimate Reality” have been the subject of almost every discussion in thetheology of religions. His own Copernican Revolution model based on Kant’sCopernican Revolution model has been variously analyzed by leadingphilosophers of the day. One of the best critiques made was by George IMavrodes in John Hick’s
Dialogues in the Philosophy of Religion
(2001). Aparaphrasal gist of the whole argument can be summed up as follows (withadditional comments):1.
Is the n
of Hick plural or singular? In other words, is Hick apolytheist or monotheist? Hick calls the
as ineffable?However, he seems to be preferring the singular over the plural,though he admits that even the concept of the “one” (number) isphenomenal and so can’t be applied to the
How can a neither-not, unrelated, amoral, ineffable, andunconcerned
account for religious ideals such as love,goodness, kindness, and care?3.
is the final product of the human mind, in all itsdiversity, then how does that rule out the possibility that that mindwas created by the
in order to know both the
There is a possibility that a non-Hickian philosopher who doesn’tbelieve that a connection exists between the Real and religiousphenomena would postulate something else to account for suchphenomena. He would postulate the Unreal, and it would look asmuch ineffable and attribute-less like Hick’s Real.Hick responds by admitting the inadequacy of language and the misleadingpotentiality of talking about the Real in plural terms. That, of course, doesn’tseem to solve the problem of genuine moral experience and the manycontradictorily diverse interpretations of “God”.