God and Other Minds : A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God

God and Other Minds: A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in…
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Also, reference methods are inconsistent across the chapters. These features increase the difficulty of reading the book, which could have been considerably shorter without much loss of substance. These faults and limitations notwithstanding, it is hard to imagine subsequent treatments of theistic arguments not using this volume as a regular point of reference, just as with the original lecture that inspired it.

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Link to Publisher's Website. Two Dozen or So Arguments for God. The Plantinga Project.

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a study of the rational justification of belief in God.

In the second section, which outlines a "superficial" conflict between theistic faith and both evolutionary psychology and Scripture scholarship, Plantinga examines the works of evolutionary psychologists who claim to apply the scientific method to the study of religion and notes that most of them simply assume that religions are nothing more than aids for human survival.

Troeltschian HBC assumes that history is not influenced by "supernatural, transcendent powers.

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Plantinga addresses the question of whether the methods of Biblical criticism and the arguments from evolutionary psychology provide any grounds for rejecting or doubting traditional Christian beliefs. To this effect, he sets out a series of potential defeaters, distinguishing between what he calls rebutting and undercutting defeaters. The first type consists of arguments justifying outright rejection of a previously held belief; the second, of arguments warranting doubt or uncertainty about a particular belief.

Having examined various potential defeaters, Plantinga concludes that they are not truly defeaters because of the "difference between Christian and scientific evidence bases. In the third part, Plantinga investigates the concord between science and religion, focusing on recent scientific discoveries that, in his view, are fully compatible with theism, while at the same time acknowledging that scientific evidence alone cannot constitute proof of God's existence.

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The United States in the World. Contributors: Paul Draper Eduardo J. The scenario would be one where whatever the theist can offer in support of her beliefs, those who disagree can offer the same considerations. In this installment on the philosophy of free will, I will be discussing libertarianism, which is an incompatibilist position. The Need for Roots. The second disanalogy is that there is a certain universality enjoyed by beliefs such as 1 - 3 , but not by theistic beliefs. An attempt to bring together the work of Charles Taylor and certain aspects of reformed epistemology.

The first argument he examines is the fine-tuning argument in physics and astronomy, which refers to the fact that the existence of life, especially human life, depends on a series of very improbable but precisely balanced physical factors such as the fundamental laws and parameters of physics.

For example, if a law such as gravity was stronger or weaker by one part in , then stars such as the sun that permit life could not exist. There are a multitude of such examples. A good way to envision these highly improbable coincidences is to conceive of a series of radio dials for each law and parameter of physics that, without being set exactly in a particular way, would make life and even the existence of matter impossible.

Alvin Plantinga

This being said, Plantinga considers a series of objections and concludes that the finetuning argument "does offer support [for theism] but only mild support. The second argument concerns biology, particularly the nature and character of living organisms. He uses the famous example of "irreducible complexity" as defended by biochemist Michael Behe, which he suggests fares better as a discourse than an argument, the difference being that a design discourse is based on intuition, whereas a design argument is an inference to the best explanation.

Plantinga, in the same section, argues for a deep concord between science and religion, going so far as to note that the whole success of the scientific enterprise would never have been possible without belief in the existence of a rational God. He emphasizes the correspondence between human cognitive capacities and the rationality of the universe.

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The salient point here is that the Christian God is a guarantor for the correspondence between our cognitive faculties and the actual nature of reality. This, for Plantinga, forms a deep concord between Christianity and science, more so than the fine-tuning argument and design discourses. In the fourth section, Plantinga presents his strongest argument in support of his thesis that naturalism is actually in deep conflict with science.

The argument is known as the evolutionary argument against naturalism.

Warranted True Belief

One finds its ancestral form in C. Lewis' Miracles and in Richard Taylor's Metaphysics.

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It concerns the reliability of cognitive faculties such as perception, memory, testimony, sympathy and induction. Plantinga writes about memory being reliable only if it produces true beliefs.

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He further argues that if naturalistic evolution is true, then there is a very low probability that one's cognitive faculties are reliable. As he puts it, "My belief that naturalism and evolution are true gives me a defeater for that very belief; that belief shoots itself in the foot and is self-referentially incoherent; therefore, I cannot rationally accept it.