David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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When philosophers talk about whether it is reasonable to believe in God, they might take the high intellectual approach of presenting one or more of the traditional arguments for God’s existence, all of which have contemporary forms. Or they might take the opposite approach made popular by some Calvinist philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga who argue that a person can be reasonable in believing something without reasons to support it, and belief in God is like that. There are many beliefs for which we do not have reasons, much less arguments that demonstrate their truth, but they are nonetheless reasonable. Examples might be your belief that the people around you have feelings and thoughts, your belief that a human being is more valuable than a tree, or your belief that when you wake up in the morning you are the same person as you were the day before. The Calvinist philosophers argue that it can be reasonable to believe in God in the same way. We were designed by God to believe in other minds, the existence of a self, the dignity of human beings, and in the existence of God without argument or reasons that support those beliefs. These beliefs are reasonable because reasonable people, people who are using their faculties in the right way, have these beliefs. If some people do not believe in God it is because something has gone wrong. It is the sinfulness of humanity that makes the existence of God less obvious than the existence of the minds of the people around us.
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