Rational Choice between Scientific Paradigms
Our discussion up to this point of the rationality of religious belief has proved inconclusive because the analogies we have claimed to discern between religious systems of thought and other systems have turned out to be themselves ambiguous. The analogies were intended to suggest that the same sort of disagreement as occurs between theists and atheists is also found between proponents of rival scientific paradigms and rival philosophical theories. But the analogies are open to attack on two grounds. The first is that, even if the analogies hold in other relevant respects, they do not give any support to the claim that the disagreement between theists and atheists is capable of rational solution. For there is a precisely similar doubt as to whether a rational choice can be made between scientific paradigms and philosophical theories. The second is that in any case the analogies do not hold in all the relevant respects. There are peculiarities of the religious case which should prevent us assimilating it to the others.
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