It is most reasonable to suppose that...., but that....

orchard

Senior Member
Turkish
Hi!

I need help to clarify the meaning of the following sentence:

Given the plurality of world religions, it is most reasonable to suppose that there is some divine reality to which each is responding, but that each religion is strictly false in its exclusivist claims, or at any rate that none has anything like a complete picture of this reality.​

Can I paraphrase the sentence as in the following:

Given the plurality of world religions,

it is most reasonable to suppose that there is some divine reality to which each is responding

but it is not most reasonable to suppose that each religion is strictly false in its exclusivist claims, or at any rate that none has anything like a complete picture of this reality.​

Many thanks in advance.

The source of the extract is Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, by Peterson and Van Arragon:
http://theotodman.com/Abstracts/Abstract_11/Abstract_11930.htm
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Actually, the authors think it is reasonable to doubt or reject the exclusivist claims of any religion. Likewise, they think it is reasonable to believe that none of these religions offers a complete picture of reality.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    The entire rest of the sentence following "to suppose that..." is one large subordinate clause comprising what (the author says) it is reasonable to suppose.
     

    orchard

    Senior Member
    Turkish

    So, am I wrong to paraphrase the sentence as in the following:

    it is most reasonable to suppose that there is some divine reality to which each is responding

    but it is NOT most reasonable to suppose that each religion is strictly false in its exclusivist claims,

    and it is NOT most reasonable either to suppose
    that none has anything like a complete picture of this reality.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    That's right, orchard. Your attempt to paraphrase the sentence was not successful. It changed the meaning of the original sentence.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)

    So, am I wrong to paraphrase the sentence as in the following:

    A. it is most reasonable to suppose that there is some divine reality to which each is responding

    B. but it is NOT most reasonable to suppose that each religion is strictly false in its exclusivist claims,

    C. and it is NOT most reasonable either to suppose that none has anything like a complete picture of this reality.

    Yes, that would be wrong. To the contrary, the author says that it is most reasonable to suppose all of A, B, and C (as I've labelled them above). The "but" that seems to be confusing you is merely describing the logical relationship between A and B; it does not serve to counteract or indicate the opposite of "reasonable to suppose."
     

    orchard

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Thanks all of you. The sentence is quite understandable to me now. As Glenfarclas says, I had doubts about the usage of the 'but' in the sentence.
     
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