Perspectief 2022-57

2022-57 Recensie van Maria: icoon van genade 29 biologische waarnemingen niet direct tot Gods bedoelingen worden geconcludeerd” (330). Since there are only interpreted facts, this means that Huijgen rejects the distinction between ontological facts and epistemic facts: facts are only interpreted data such that the language of “facts” and “states of affairs” (265, 326) is only applicable to accepted statements of a community of interpreters. They are not objective or external features of the world, that is, as Huijgen refers to them, “natuurlijke stand der dingen,” and hence the way things are and to which our beliefs must correspond. Huijgen’s view entails an anti-realist view of justification and truth. That is, on Huijgen’s view, “the world,” indeed, “reality” seems totally irrelevant to questions of meaning and truth. On a realist view of truth, a proposition is true if and only if what it asserts is in fact the case about objective reality; otherwise, it is false. On this view, objective reality is not only knowable, but is also determines the truth or falsity of beliefs. Therefore, according to Huijgen’s view, since everything is relative to our interpretive system, then the justification of our beliefs is relative to our system—to the relation between beliefs and beliefs within a system rather than between beliefs and the world. Yes, Huijgen claims that interpretations require ongoing critical reflection (259), but what standards adjudicate our reflections and to what end. He doesn’t say. In this connection, Huijgen appeals to the distinction between creation and nature, on the one hand, and culture, with its social and traditional norms of maleness and femaleness, on the other. These norms as such do not reflect “Gods scheppingsbedoelingen.” Culture has a deep impact on how we understand what is natural and what we claim to be the nature of man and the world, and hence creational. “Wat ‘natuurlijk’ wordt genoemd is vaak een aanduiding voor de conventie van de afgelopen decennia” (257). For instance, that marriage is the two-in-one flesh union of a man and a woman is a traditional account of the structure of marriage. According to Huijgen, however, this account is not a matter of the nature of things. “Aan de biologie of aan sociale conventies valt niet af te lezen dat er een huwelijk moet bestaan of hoe het bedoeld is. . . . Wie de relatie tussen man en vrouw in de natuur verankert, pint beiden vast in een rol: het is wat het is.” But isn’t it the case that only a man can be a father, and a woman a mother? Isn’t it the case that only a biological female can menstruate and have a child? Isn’t it the case that binary sexual generation is such that, as American Catholic philosopher Angela Franks puts it,