Debunking arguments gain little from cognitive science of religion

Zygon 56 (2):416-433 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Cognitive science of religion (CSR) has inspired a number of debunking arguments against god-belief. They aim to show that the belief-forming processes that underlie belief in god(s) are unreliable. The debate surrounding these arguments gives the impression that CSR offers new scientific evidence that threatens the rationality of religious belief. This impression, however, is partly misleading. A close look at a few widely discussed debunking arguments shows, first, that CSR theories as such are far from providing sufficient empirical evidence that the belief-forming processes behind god-belief are unreliable. Thus, appealing solely to CSR theories makes a debunking argument weak. Second, there are strong arguments that also invoke CSR, but these gain their strength primarily from more familiar claims about evolutionary epistemology and religious diversity. What CSR actually does in these arguments is providing an explanation of why people might believe in gods even if gods did not exist. But explaining is not debunking.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,991

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

Debunking and fully apt belief.Joshua C. Thurow - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
Does Cognitive Science of Religion Undermine Religious Belief?Paul Rezkalla - 2015 - Philosophy and Cosmology 14 (1):215-221.
Does Cognitive Science of Religion Undermine Religious Belief?Rezkalla Paul - 2015 - Философия И Космология 14 (1):214-220.
Does the Scientific Study of Religion Cast Doubt on Theistic Belief?Joshua C. Thurow - 2014 - In Michael Bergmann Patrick Kain (ed.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford ; New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 277-294.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-02-14

Downloads
53 (#308,945)

6 months
29 (#110,242)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Lari Launonen
University of Helsinki