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Unbelievable Preambles: Natural Knowledge and Social Cooperation in Accepting Some Revelation

Paul Clavier

Abstract

There is a claim that the natural capacity for knowledge of God (but not its complete
exercise) is presupposed by the acceptance of any revelation. We inquire into whether this restriction is satisfactory. There is a stronger claim that natural knowledge has to be exercised for someone to welcome revelation. There is an additional claim that natural knowledge of the preambles to the articles of faith may not obtain. We try to make sense of this doctrine of impeached preambles to faith, by considering its phrasing not only in the first person singular (where it generates a Moore’s paradox), nor in the third person (where the role of the preambles still remains problematic), but in the first plural person, where it may suggest a kind of social division of tasks among believers.

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