Disbelief in belief: On the cognitive status of supernatural beliefs

Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):601-615 (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Religious people seem to believe things that range from the somewhat peculiar to the utterly bizarre. Or do they? According to a new paper by Neil Van Leeuwen, religious “credence” is nothing like mundane factual belief. It has, he claims, more in common with fictional imaginings. Religious folk do not really “believe”—in the ordinary sense of the word—what they profess to believe. Like fictional imaginings, but unlike factual beliefs, religious credences are activated only within specific settings. We argue that Van Leeuwen’s thesis contradicts a wealth of data on religiously motivated behavior. By and large, the faithful genuinely believe what they profess to believe. Although many religions openly embrace a sense of mystery, in general this does not prevent the attribution of beliefs to religious people. Many of the features of religious belief that Van Leeuwen alludes to, like invulnerability to refutation and incoherence, are characteristic of irrational beliefs in general and actually betray...

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Una proposta per la caratterizzazione della credenza religiosa.Daniele Bertini - 2014 - Dialegesthai. Rivista Telematica di Filosofia 16.
Bayle on the (Ir)rationality of Religious Belief.Kristen Irwin - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (6):560-569.
Religious Pluralism and the Rationality of Religious Belief.John Hick - 1993 - Faith and Philosophy 10 (2):242-249.
The Motivational Role of Belief.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (2):219 - 246.
Should Religious Beliefs Be Exempt from the Duty to Think Critically?Donald Hatcher - 2014 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 29 (1):17-31.
Belief-in and Belief in God.John N. Williams - 1992 - Religious Studies 28 (3):401 - 406.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-04-16

Downloads
70 (#173,699)

6 months
11 (#82,709)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Maarten Boudry
University of Ghent

Citations of this work

Interpretivism and norms.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):905-930.
Do religious “beliefs” respond to evidence?Neil Van Leeuwen - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup1):52-72.
The Factual Belief Fallacy.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2018 - Contemporary Pragmatism (eds. T. Coleman & J. Jong):319-343.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations