Ultimism: A Philosophy That Wants to Be a Religion

Keywords: J. L. Schellenberg, ultimism, philosophy of religion, epistemology, imagination


Ultimism is the view that there is a metaphysically and axiologically ultimate reality in relation to which it is possible to achieve the ultimate good. John Schellenberg believes that ultimism is the backbone of every religion, while the differences between religions arise from different views of what the nature of the ultimate is. Schellenberg tries to show that if there is progress in religion, then it is most reasonable to assume that we are only at the beginning of the inquiry into the ultimate. The aim of the paper is to show that epistemological and methodological objections can be raised against ultimism. It will present an epistemological argument, pointing to the cognitive limitations of imagination, and a methodological argument, questioning the feasibility of Schellenberg’s project.


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