The Contradiction In Sextus's Suspension Of Religion

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However, Sextus apparently falls into a contradiction throughout his arguments against the dogmatic opinions about god. Sextus explains that the skeptic lives by being guided by appearances and accepts religious practices. In Sextus's work, it is also clear that he describes the skeptical respect for religion in terms of something that belongs to everyday life and is part of convention; in this way, he shows a contrast with the usual beliefs of dogmatists about God. Sextus finds his suspension of judgment, to some extent, compatible with his participation in the traditional religious practices of his society. In this sense, Sextus treats the religious customs as part of the social customs. The skeptic does, in general, what society prescribes. The contradiction in which Sextus falls …show more content…
She says that the words of Sextus reveal the existence of two different orders of belief: the theological order and the ordinary religious order. The theological order is where the philosophers carry out their discussions about God. There is a difference between theological and religious beliefs. Theological beliefs deal with the question about the existence of God or gods as well as about their nature, while religious beliefs are related rather to the execution of rituals. Julia Annas suggests that the skeptical suspension of judgment occurs on the theological order and, therefore, is compatible with religious beliefs. This interpretation is especially valid or appropriate for a culture that is aware of religious diversity, in the sense that it is known that people from different countries believe in different gods and perform different religious rituals. In a polytheistic culture that professes a pagan religion there is no universal or single view of divinity. Sextus' arguments would then not be directed to religious beliefs but to theological beliefs, which are held by

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