Plantinga’s Religious Epistemology, Skeptical Theism, and Debunking Arguments

Faith and Philosophy 34 (4):449-470 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Alvin Plantinga’s religious epistemology has been used to respond to many debunking arguments against theistic belief. However, critics have claimed that Plantinga’s religious epistemology conflicts with skeptical theism, a view often used in response to the problem of evil. If they are correct, then a common way of responding to debunking arguments conflicts with a common way of responding to the problem of evil. In this paper, I examine the critics’ claims and argue that they are right. I then present two revised versions of Plantinga’s argument for his religious epistemology. I call the first a 'religion-based argument' and the second an 'intention-based argument'. Both are compatible with skeptical theism, and both can be used to respond to debunking arguments. They apply only to theistic beliefs of actual persons who have what I call 'doxastically valuable relationships' with God – valuable relationships the goods of which entail the belief that God exists.

Similar books and articles

Recent Work in Reformed Epistemology.Andrew Moon - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):879-891.
Skeptical Theism and Phenomenal Conservatism.Jonathan Matheson - 2014 - In Trent Dougherty Justin McBrayer (ed.), Skeptical Theism: New Essays. pp. 3-20.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Against Theism, Reconsidered.Jonathan Jong & Aku Visala - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):243-258.
Skeptical Theism is Incompatible with Theodicy.Scott Coley - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (1):53-63.
Skeptical Theism.Justin McBrayer - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):611-623.
Taking the Narrow Way: Lovering, Evil, and Knowing What God Would Do.Ryan Rhodes - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 77 (1):25-35.
The Parent–Child Analogy and the Limits of Skeptical Theism.Erik J. Wielenberg - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (3):301-314.
Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Moral Aporia.Mark Piper - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (2):65 - 79.
Reformed Epistemology and Christian Apologetics.Michael Sudduth - 2003 - Religious Studies 39 (3):299-321.
On What God Would Do.Rob Lovering - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 66 (2):87-104.
Skeptical Theism.Timothy Perrine & Stephen Wykstra - 2017 - In Paul K. Moser & Chad Meister (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil. Cambridge University Press. pp. 85-107.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-07-26

Downloads
1,420 (#4,105)

6 months
57 (#16,425)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Andrew Moon
Virginia Commonwealth University

References found in this work

Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):327-328.
You Just Believe That Because….Roger White - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):573-615.

View all 29 references / Add more references