The Epistemic Parity of Religious-Apologetic and Religion-Debunking Responses to the Cognitive Science of Religion

Religions 12 (7):466 (2021)
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Abstract

Recent work in the cognitive science of religion has challenged some of the explanatory assumptions of previous research in the field. Nonetheless, some of the practitioners of the new cognitive science of religion theorize in the same skeptical spirit as their predecessors and either imply or explicitly claim that their projects undermine the warrant of religious beliefs. In this article, I argue that these theories do no additional argumentative work when compared to previous attempts to debunk religious belief and that these recent debunking efforts are very much motivated by methodological commitments that are shared with canonical research. I contend that these argumentative strategies put debunkers very much on an epistemic par with religious apologists: both advocate responses to the cognitive science of religion that are primarily motivated by methodological commitments.

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Walter Stepanenko
John Carroll University

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References found in this work

Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.
Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate.H. Clark Barrett & Robert Kurzban - 2006 - Psychological Review 113 (3):628-647.

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