Paper 18: Science, Religion and Truth

Dr John Taylor


In this paper, the realist and relativist accounts of the nature of truth are outlined. The debate between realist and relativist interpretations of science is examined in the context of the influential work of Thomas Kuhn on scientific paradigms and revolutions. A realist account of science is defended. The question of whether objective truth can be defended as an ideal in a domain such as that of religious belief is addressed. A central objection to the relativistís position is that the nature of disagreement about religious belief can only be understood in terms of objective truth. This opens the way for a realist interpretation of that part of religion which concerns itself with the attempt to offer a fundamental explanation for features of reality.

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