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Skepticism And Everyday Life

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that ordinary Greek religious belief does have theological implications, regardless of whether they are acknowledged, and regardless of whether religious belief is itself based on reason. By examining the content of such beliefs, described both by Sextus Empiricus and some roughly contemporaneous Greek writers, it is seen that they qualify as the sort of dogma Sextus' skeptical practice is designed to eliminate. Having argued that premise cannot be plausibly rejected, the chapter attempts to defend skeptical piety by rejecting premise -the necessity of belief for piety. A strong intuition motivating this premise is that a non-believing religious practitioner must be either intentionally or unintentionally deceptive in Sextus' religious practice. The chapter claims that the skeptic can perform genuinely pious actions in accordance with religious impressions, or affective states, that fall short of belief.

Keywords: belief for piety; Greek religious belief; Sextus Empiricus; skeptical piety



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