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Beyond Belief : On the Nature and Rationality of Agnostic Religion

Printed in Sweden by Media-Tryck, Lund University (2020)

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  1. Faith and Disbelief.Robert K. Whitaker - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (2):149-172.
    Is faith that p compatible with disbelief that p? I argue that it is. After surveying some recent literature on the compatibility of propositional and non-propositional forms of faith with the lack of belief, I take the next step and offer several arguments for the thesis that both these forms of faith are also compatible, in certain cases, with outright disbelief. This is contrary to the views of some significant recent commentators on propositional faith, including Robert Audi and Daniel Howard-Snyder. (...)
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  • Philosophy of Religion, Fictionalism, and Religious Diversity.Victoria S. Harrison - 2010 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 68 (1-3):43-58.
    Until recently philosophy of religion has been almost exclusively focused upon the analysis of western religious ideas. The central concern of the discipline has been the concept God , as that concept has been understood within Judaeo-Christianity. However, this narrow remit threatens to render philosophy of religion irrelevant today. To avoid this philosophy of religion should become a genuinely multicultural discipline. But how, if at all, can philosophy of religion rise to this challenge? The paper considers fictionalism about religious discourse (...)
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  • The Kantian Moral Hazard Argument for Religious Fictionalism.Christopher Jay - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (3):207-232.
    In this paper I do three things. Firstly, I defend the view that in his most familiar arguments about morality and the theological postulates, the arguments which appeal to the epistemological doctrines of the first Critique, Kant is as much of a fictionalist as anybody not working explicitly with that conceptual apparatus could be: his notion of faith as subjectively and not objectively grounded is precisely what fictionalists are concerned with in their talk of nondoxastic attitudes. Secondly, I reconstruct a (...)
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  • Trust, Belief, and the Second-Personal.Thomas W. Simpson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):447-459.
    Cognitivism about trust says that it requires belief that the trusted is trustworthy; non-cognitivism denies this. At stake is how to make sense of the strong but competing intuitions that trust is an attitude that is evaluable both morally and rationally. In proposing that one's respect for another's agency may ground one's trusting beliefs, second-personal accounts provide a way to endorse both intuitions. They focus attention on the way that, in normal situations, it is the person whom I trust. My (...)
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  • Perception and Mystical Experience. [REVIEW]George S. Pappas - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4):877-883.
  • Review: Religious Disagreements and Doxastic Practices. [REVIEW]Robert Merrihew Adams - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4):885 - 890.
  • The Value of Hope.Luc Bovens - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):667-681.
    Hope obeys Aristotle's doctrine of the mean: one should neither hope too much, nor too little. But what determines what constitutes too much and what constitutes too little for a particular person at a particular time? The sceptic presents an argument to the effect that it is never rational to hope. An attempt to answer the sceptic leads us in different directions. Decision-theoretic and preference-theoretic arguments support the instrumental value of hope. An investigation into the nature of hope permits us (...)
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  • Internalism and Externalism in Epistemology.William P. Alston - 1986 - Philosophical Topics 14 (1):179-221.
    Internalism restricts justifiers to what is "within" the subject. two main forms of internalism are (1) perspectival internalism (pi), which restricts justifiers to what the subject knows or justifiably believes, and (2) access internalism (ai), which restricts justifiers to what is directly accessible to the subject. the two forms are analyzed and interrelated, and the grounds for each are examined. it is concluded that although pi is both unacceptable and without adequate support, a modest form of ai might be defended.
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  • Faith Without Belief?Louis Pojman - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (2):157-176.
    For many religious people there is a problem of doubting various credal statements contained in their religions. Often propositional beliefs are looked upon as necessary conditions for salvation. This causes great anxiety in doubters and raises the question of the importance of belief in religion and in life in general. It is a question that has been neglected in philosophy of religion and theology. In this paper I shall explore the question of the importance of belief as a religious attitude (...)
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  • And This All Men Call God.Timothy O’Connor - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (4):417-435.
    Philosophical discussion of theistic arguments mainly focus on their first (existence) stage, which argues for the existence of something having some very general, if suggestive, feature. I shall instead consider only the second (identification) stage of one such argument, the cosmologic al argument from contingency. Taking for granted the existence of an absolutely necessary being, I develop an extended line of argument that supports the..
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology.Russell Re Manning (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology is the first collection to consider the full breadth of natural theology from both historical and contemporary perspectives and to bring together leading scholars to offer accessible high-level accounts of the major themes. The volume embodies and develops the recent revival of interest in natural theology as a topic of serious critical engagement. Frequently misunderstood or polemicized, natural theology is an under-studied yet persistent and pervasive presence throughout the history of thought about ultimate reality (...)
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  • Can Fictionalists Have Faith?Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (2):215-232.
    According to non-doxastic theories of propositional faith, belief that p is not necessary for faith that p. Rather, propositional faith merely requires a ‘positive cognitive attitude’. This broad condition, however, can be satisfied by several pragmatic approaches to a domain, including fictionalism. This paper shows precisely how fictionalists can have faith given non-doxastic theory, and explains why this is problematic. It then explores one means of separating the two theories, in virtue of the fact that the truth of the propositions (...)
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  • Religion for Naturalists.Natalja Deng - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (2):195-214.
    Some naturalists feel an affinity with some religions, or with a particular religion. They may have previously belonged to it, and/or been raised in it, and/or be close to people who belong to it, and/or simply feel attracted to its practices, texts and traditions. This raises the question of whether and to what extent a naturalist can lead the life of a religious believer. The sparse literature on this topic focuses on religious fictionalism. I also frame the debate in these (...)
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  • Faith and Steadfastness in the Face of Counter-Evidence.Lara Buchak - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):113-133.
    It is sometimes said that faith is recalcitrant in the face of new evidence, but it is puzzling how such recalcitrance could be rational or laudable. I explain this aspect of faith and why faith is not only rational, but in addition serves an important purpose in human life. Because faith requires maintaining a commitment to act on the claim one has faith in, even in the face of counter-evidence, faith allows us to carry out long-term, risky projects that we (...)
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  • On the Value of Faith and Faithfulness.Daniel McKaughan - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):7-29.
    There was a time when Greco-Roman culture recognized faith as an indispensable social good. More recently, however, the value of faith has been called into question, particularly in connection with religious commitment. What, if anything, is valuable about faith—in the context of ordinary human relations or as a distinctive stance people might take in relation to God? I approach this question by examining the role that faith talk played both in ancient Jewish and Christian communities and in the larger Greco-Roman (...)
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  • Markan Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 81 (1-2):31-60.
    According to many accounts of faith—where faith is thought of as something psychological, e.g., an attitude, state, or trait—one cannot have faith without belief of the relevant propositions. According to other accounts of faith, one can have faith without belief of the relevant propositions. Call the first sort of account doxasticism since it insists that faith requires belief; call the second nondoxasticism since it allows faith without belief. The New Testament may seem to favor doxasticism over nondoxasticism. For it may (...)
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  • Prolegomena to a Philosophy of Religion.J. L. Schellenberg - 2005 - Cornell University Press.
    Providing an original and systematic treatment of foundational issues in philosophy of religion, J. L. Schellenberg's new book addresses the structure of..
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  • Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion.Robin Le Poidevin - 1996 - Routledge.
    Arguing for Atheism introduces a wide range of topics in the philosophy of religion and metaphysics. Robin Le Poidevin does not simply defend a denial of God's existence; he presents instead a way of intepreting religious discourse which allows us to make sense of the role of religion in our spiritual and moral lives. Ideal as a textbook for university courses in the philosophy of religion and metaphysics, Arguing for Atheism is also designed to be accessible, in its style and (...)
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  • Analyzing Hope : The Live Possibility Account.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The orthodox definition of hope suffers from an exclusion problem: it is unable to exclude subjects without hope. In fact, the orthodox definition even allows for despair to be falsely classified as hope. This problem suggests two basic desiderata for a successful analysis of hope; it should solve the exclusion problem, and it should have the resources to explain why, in a given situation, a subject does or does not form a hope. Bearing these desiderata in mind, I assess two (...)
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  • Robin Le Poidevin Religious Fictionalism.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - forthcoming - Religious Studies: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Religion.
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  • Can It Be Rational to Have Faith?Lara Buchak - 2012 - In Jake Chandler & Victoria Harrison (eds.), Probability in the Philosophy of Religion. Oxford University Press. pp. 225.
    This paper provides an account of what it is to have faith in a proposition p, in both religious and mundane contexts. It is argued that faith in p doesn’t require adopting a degree of belief that isn’t supported by one’s evidence but rather it requires terminating one’s search for further evidence and acting on the supposition that p. It is then shown, by responding to a formal result due to I.J. Good, that doing so can be rational in a (...)
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  • The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.Alexander Pruss - 2009 - In William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Blackwell. pp. 24--100.
  • Action-Centered Faith, Doubt, and Rationality.Daniel McKaughan - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41 (9999):71-90.
    Popular discussions of faith often assume that having faith is a form of believing on insufficient evidence and that having faith is therefore in some way rationally defective. Here I offer a characterization of action-centered faith and show that action-centered faith can be both epistemically and practically rational even under a wide variety of subpar evidential circumstances.
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  • Can Fictionalists Have Faith? It All Depends.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2019 - Religious Studies 55:1-22.
    Can fictionalists have faith? It all depends on how we disambiguate ‘fictionalists’ and on what faith is. I consider the matter in light of my own theory. After clarifying its central terms, I distinguish two fictionalists – atheistic and agnostic – and I argue that, even though no atheistic fictionalist can have faith on my theory, agnostic fictionalists arguably can. After rejecting Finlay Malcolm's reasons for thinking this is a problem, I use his paradigmatic agnostic fictionalist as a foil to (...)
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  • Propositional Faith: What It is and What It is Not.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (4):357-372.
    Reprinted in Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Wadsworth 2015, 6th edition, eds Michael Rea and Louis Pojman. What is propositional faith? At a first approximation, we might answer that it is the psychological attitude picked out by standard uses of the English locution “S has faith that p,” where p takes declarative sentences as instances, as in “He has faith that they’ll win”. Although correct, this answer is not nearly as informative as we might like. Many people say that there (...)
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  • Rational Faith and Justified Belief.Lara Buchak - 2014 - In Timothy O'Connor & Laura Frances Callahan (eds.), Religious Faith and Intellectual Virtue. Oxford University Press. pp. 49-73.
    In “Can it be rational to have faith?”, it was argued that to have faith in some proposition consists, roughly speaking, in stopping one’s search for evidence and committing to act on that proposition without further evidence. That paper also outlined when and why stopping the search for evidence and acting is rationally required. Because the framework of that paper was that of formal decision theory, it primarily considered the relationship between faith and degrees of belief, rather than between faith (...)
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  • Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Valeriano Iranzo - 2008 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 23 (1):89-106.
    Bayesianism and Inference to the best explanation are two different models of inference. Recently there has been some debate about the possibility of “bayesianizing” IBE. Firstly I explore several alternatives to include explanatory considerations in Bayes’s Theorem. Then I distinguish two different interpretations of prior probabilities: “IBE-Bayesianism” and “frequentist-Bayesianism”. After detailing the content of the latter, I propose a rule for assessing the priors. I also argue that Freq-Bay: endorses a role for explanatory value in the assessment of scientific hypotheses; (...)
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  • Theistic discourse and fictional truth.Robin Le Poidevin - 2003 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:271-284.
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  • Justifications, Excuses, and Sceptical Scenarios.Timothy Williamson - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch & Julien Dutant (eds.), The New Evil Demon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • The Kalām Cosmological Argument.W. Craig - 1980 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):408-411.
     
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  • A Plea for Epistemic Excuses.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Fabian Dorsch Julien Dutant (ed.), The New Evil Demon Problem. Oxford University Press.
    The typical epistemology course begins with a discussion of the distinction between justification and knowledge and ends without any discussion of the distinction between justification and excuse. This is unfortunate. If we had a better understanding of the justification-excuse distinction, we would have a better understanding of the intuitions that shape the internalism-externalism debate. My aims in this paper are these. First, I will explain how the kinds of excuses that should interest epistemologists exculpate. Second, I will explain why the (...)
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  • Plantinga on Warrant.Richard Swinburne - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (2):203-214.
    Alvin Plantinga Warranted Christian Belief (New York NY: Oxford University Press, 2000). In the two previous volumes of his trilogy on ‘warrant’, Alvin Plantinga developed his general theory of warrant, defined as that characteristic enough of which terms a true belief into knowledge. A belief B has warrant if and only if: (1) it is produced by cognitive faculties functioning properly, (2) in a cognitive environment sufficiently similar to that for which the faculties were designed, (3) according to a design (...)
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  • Faith and Hope in Situations of Epistemic Uncertainty.Carl-Johan Palmqvist - 2019 - Religious Studies 55 (3):319–335.
    When it comes to religion, lack of conclusive evidence leads many reflective thinkers to embrace agnosticism. However, pure agnosticism does not necessarily have to be the final word; there are other attitudes one might reasonably adopt in a situation of epistemic uncertainty. This article concentrates on J. L. Schellenberg's proposal that non-doxastic propositional faith is available even when belief is unwarranted. Schellenberg's view is rejected since his envisaged notion of faith conflicts with important epistemic aims. Instead, it is suggested that (...)
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  • Richard Swinburne, the Existence of God, and Principle P.Jeremy Gwiazda - 2009 - Sophia 48 (4):393-398.
    Swinburne relies on principle P in The Existence of God to argue that God is simple and thus likely to exist. In this paper, I argue that Swinburne does not support P. In particular, his arguments from mathematical simplicity and scientists’ preferences both fail. Given the central role P plays in Swinburne’s overall argument in The Existence of God , I conclude that Swinburne should further support P if his argument that God likely exists is to be persuasive.
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  • A New Cosmological Argument.Richard M. Gale & Alexander R. Pruss - 1999 - Religious Studies 35 (4):461-476.
    We will give a new cosmological argument for the existence of a being who, although not proved to be the absolutely perfect God of the great Medieval theists, also is capable of playing the role in the lives of working theists of a being that is a suitable object of worship, adoration, love, respect, and obedience. Unlike the absolutely perfect God, the God whose necessary existence is established by our argument will not be shown to essentially have the divine perfections (...)
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  • Simplicity and Theology.Don Fawkes & Tom Smythe - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):259 - 270.
    Richard Swinburne has given a defense of arguments for the existence of God (and in particular of teleological arguments) in his book "The Existence of God" (1979/1991). This paper argues that such theistic arguments fail, and poses some general problems for theistic arguments. Swinburne's use of a principle of simplicity is not given adequate justification and, if justified, works against theism. There are adequate rebuttals to Swinburne's arguments that depend upon there being few particles of basic physics, universal laws of (...)
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  • Can an Atheist Believe in God?Andrew S. Eshleman - 2005 - Religious Studies 41 (2):183 - 199.
    Some have proposed that it is reasonable for an atheist to pursue a form of life shaped by engagement with theistic religious language and practice, once language and belief in God are interpreted in the appropriate non-realist manner. My aim is to defend this proposal in the face of several objections that have been raised against it. First, I engage in some conceptual spadework to distinguish more clearly some varieties of religious non-realism. Then, in response to two central objections, I (...)
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  • What is Hope?Jack M. C. Kwong - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):243-254.
    According to the standard account, to hope for an outcome is to desire it and to believe that its realization is possible, though not inevitable. This account, however, faces certain difficulties: It cannot explain how people can display differing strengths in hope; it cannot distinguish hope from despair; and it cannot explain substantial hopes. This paper proposes an account of hope that can meet these deficiencies. Briefly, it argues that in addition to possessing the relevant belief–desire structure as allowed in (...)
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  • Religious Fictionalism and the Problem of Evil.Jon Robson - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (3):353-360.
    The problem of evil is typically presented as a problem – sometimes the problem – facing theistic realists. This article takes no stance on what effect (if any) the existence of evil has on the rationality of theistic belief. Instead, it explores the possibility of using the problem of evil to generate worries for some of those who reject theistic realism. Although this article focuses on the consequences for a particular kind of religious fictionalist, the lessons adduced are intended to (...)
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  • The Afterlife: Beyond Belief.Andrew Eshleman - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):163-183.
    When a Christian refers to the future full realization of the kingdom of God in an afterlife, it is typically assumed that she is expressing beliefs about the existence and activity of God in conjunction with supernatural beliefs about an otherworldly realm and the possibility of one’s personal survival after bodily death. In other words, the religious language is interpreted in a realist fashion and the religious person here is construed as a religious believer. A corollary of this widely-held realist (...)
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  • Introduction.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (2):141.
  • Religious Fictionalism Defended: Reply to Cordry.Andrew Eshleman - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (1):91-96.
    In his paper, 'A critique of religious fictionalism', Benjamin Cordry raises a series of objections to a fictionalist form of religious non-realism that I proposed in my earlier paper, 'Can an atheist believe in God?'. They fall into two main categories: those alleging that an atheist would be unjustified in adopting fictionalism, and those alleging that fictionalism could not be successfully implemented, or practised communally. I argue that these objections can be met.
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  • Is Faith in the Ultimate Rationally Required? Taking Issue with Some Arguments in The Will to Imagine.Wes Morriston - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (2):209-220.
    According to J. L. Schellenberg, sceptical faith in the Ultimate is not merely permitted, but is rationally required. It is, all things considered, the response that we should make. In this article, I assess just three of Schellenberg's arguments for this bold conclusion. I explain why I find each of them unpersuasive.
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  • The Nature of Hope.Ariel Meirav - 2009 - Ratio 22 (2):216-233.
    Both traditional accounts of hope and some of their recent critics analyze hope exclusively in terms of attitudes that a hoper bears towards a hoped-for prospect, such as desire and probability assignment. I argue that all of these accounts misidentify cases of despair as cases of hope, and so misconstrue the nature of hope. I show that a more satisfactory view is arrived at by noticing that in addition to the aforementioned attitudes, hope involves a characteristic attitude towards an external (...)
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  • God by Design?Jan Narveson - 2003 - In Neil A. Manson (ed.), God and Design: The Teleological Argument and Modern Science. Routledge. pp. 80--88.
  • Schellenberg on Propositional Faith.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2013 - Religious Studies (2):181-194.
    This paper assesses J. L. Schellenberg’s account of propositional faith and, in light of that assessment, sketches an alternative that avoids certain objections and coheres better with Schellenberg’s aims.
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  • Philosophical Critique of Natural Theology.Charles Taliaferro - 2013 - In J. H. Brooke, F. Watts & R. R. Manning (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology. Oxford Up. pp. 385.
    This chapter discusses the two kinds of philosophical critiques of natural theology: external and internal critiques. External critiques take aim at the whole project, objecting to the metaphysics, epistemology, or theory of values that make natural theology possible at all. Internal critiques allow that natural theology can succeed but none of its arguments are cogent or meet high philosophical standards. Among external critiques, Kant's Critique of Pure Reason seeks to undermine all metaphysics, as do contemporary forms of nonrealism. The chapter (...)
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  • Science and Religion : The Immersion Solution.Peter Lipton - 2009 - In John Cornwell & Michael McGhee (eds.), Philosophers and God: At the Frontiers of Faith and Reason. Continuum. pp. 31--46.
    This essay focuses on the cognitive tension between science and religion, in particular on the contradictions between some of the claims of current science and some of the claims in religious texts. My aim is to suggest how some work in the philosophy of science may help to manage this tension. Thus I will attempt to apply some work in the philosophy of science to the philosophy of religion, following the traditional gambit of trying to stretch the little one does (...)
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  • A Critique of Religious Fictionalism: BENJAMIN S. CORDRY.Benjamin S. Cordry - 2010 - Religious Studies 46 (1):77-89.
    Andrew Eshleman has argued that atheists can believe in God by being fully engaged members of religious communities and using religious discourse in a non-realist way. He calls this position ‘fictionalism’ because the atheist takes up religion as a useful fiction. In this paper I critique fictionalism along two lines: that it is problematic to successfully be a fictionalist and that fictionalism is unjustified. Reflection on fictionalism will point to some wider problems with religious anti-realism.
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  • Reason and Belief in God.Alvin Plantinga - 1983 - In Alvin Plantinga & Nicholas Wolterstorff (eds.), Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 16-93.
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