The Monist 96 (3):311-324 (2013)

Authors
Ian M. Church
Hillsdale College
Abstract
Recent work in cognitive science of religion (CSR) is beginning to converge on a very interesting thesis—that, given the ordinary features of human minds operating in typical human environments, we are naturally disposed to believe in the existence of gods, among other religious ideas (e.g., seeAtran [2002], Barrett [2004; 2012], Bering [2011], Boyer [2001], Guthrie [1993], McCauley [2011], Pyysiäinen [2004; 2009]). In this paper, we explore whether such a discovery ultimately helps or hurts the atheist position—whether, for example, it lends credence to atheism by explaining away religious belief or whether it actually strengthens some already powerful arguments against atheism in the relevant philosophical literature.We argue that the recent discoveries of CSR hurt, not help, the atheist position—that CSR, if anything, should not give atheists epistemic assurance.
Keywords Cognitive Science of Religion  Religious Epistemology
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Reprint years 2014
ISBN(s) 0026-9662
DOI 10.5840/monist201396314
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References found in this work BETA

Warrant and Proper Function.Alvin Plantinga - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Warranted Christian Belief.P. Helm - 2001 - Mind 110 (440):1110-1115.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is Supernatural Belief Unreliably Formed?Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (2):125-148.
Nontraditional Arguments for Theism.Chad A. McIntosh - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (5):1-14.

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