Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Most Peers Don’t Believe It, Hence It Is Probably False

René van Woudenberg, Hans van Eyghen

Abstract

Rob Lovering has recently argued that since theists have been unable, by means of philosophical arguments, to convince 85 percent of professional philosophers that God exists, at least one of their defining beliefs must be either false or meaningless. This paper is a critical examination of his argument. First we present Lovering’s argument and point out its salient features. Next we explain why the argument’s conclusion is entirely acceptable for theists, even if, as we show, there are multiple problems with the premises.

Keywords

Lovering, peer disagreement, arguments for God's existence

Full Text:

PDF

References

Ayer, Alfred Jules. Language, truth and logic. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 2012 [1952].

Bourget, David, and David J. Chalmers. “What do philosophers believe?” Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition 170, no. 3 (2014): 465–500. doi:10.1007/s11098-013-0259-7.

Chalmers, David John, David Manley, and Ryan Wasserman, eds. Metametaphysics: New essays on the foundations of ontology. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Christensen, David. “Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News.” The Philosophical Review 116, no. 2 (2007): 187–217. doi:10.1215/00318108-2006-035.

Craig, William Lane. The cosmological argument from Plato to Leibniz. London: Macmillan, 1980.

Craig, William Lane and James Porter Moreland, eds. The Blackwell companion to natural theology. Chichester, U.K., Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Cruz, Helen de, and De Smedt Johan. “How do philosophers evaluate natural theological arguments? An experimental philosophical investigation.” In Advances in religion, cognitive science, and experimental philosophy. Edited by Helen Cruz and Ryan Nichols. Advances in experimental philosophy. London, UK, New York, NY, USA: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2016.

Douven, Igor. “Abduction.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Edward N. Zalta. Spring 2011., 2011. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/abduction/.

Draper, Paul, Ryan Nichols, and Sherwood J. B. Sugden. “Diagnosing Bias in Philosophy of Religion.” Monist 96, no. 3 (2013): 420–46. doi:10.5840/monist201396319.

Everitt, Nicholas. The non-existence of God: An introduction. London: Routledge, 2003.

Frances, Bryan. Disagreement. Key concepts in philosophy 2014: 1. Cambridge: Polity, 2014.

Garcia, Laura L. “St. John of the Cross and the Necessity of Divine Hiddenness.” In Howard-Snyder; Moser, Divine hiddenness, 83–97.

Gervais, Will M., and Ara Norenzayan. “Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief.” Science 336, no. 6080 (2012): 493–96. doi:10.1126/science.1215647.

Gross, Neil, and Solon Simmons. “The Religiosity of American College and University Professors.” Sociology of Religion 70, no. 2 (2009): 101–29. doi:10.1093/socrel/srp026.

Howard-Snyder, Daniel and Paul K. Moser, eds. Divine hiddenness: New essays. Cambridge, UK, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Kornblith, Hilary. “Belief in the Face of Controversy // Disagreement.” In Disagreement. Edited by Richard Feldman and Ted A. Warfield. 1st ed., 29–52. Oxford University Press, 2010.

Lipton, Peter. “Is the Best Good Enough?” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93 (1993): 89–104. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4545167.

Lovering, Rob. “The Problem of the Theistic Evidentialist Philosophers.” Philo 13, no. 2 (2010): 185–200. doi:10.5840/philo20101325.

———. God and Evidence: Problems for Theistic Philosophers. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

Mackie, J. L. The Miracle of Theism: Arguments For and Against the Existence of God. Oxford, New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1982.

Moreland, James P. “The argument from consciousness.” In The Blackwell companion to natural theology. Edited by William L. Craig and James P. Moreland, 282–343. Chichester, U.K., Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Moser, Paul K. “Cognitive Idolatry and Divine Hiding.” In Howard-Snyder; Moser, Divine hiddenness, 120–48.

———. “Divine Hiddenness Does Not Justify Atheism.” In Contemporary debates in philosophy of religion. Edited by Michael L. Peterson and Raymond J. Vanarragon, 42–53. Contemporary debates in philosophy 1. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2004.

Murray, Michael J. “Deus Absconditus.” In Howard-Snyder; Moser, Divine hiddenness, 62–82.

Nichols, Shaun. Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment. Oxford u. a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004.

Norenzayan, Ara, and Will M. Gervais. “The origins of religious disbelief.” Trends in cognitive sciences 17, no. 1 (2013): 20–25. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2012.11.006.

Oppy, Graham. Arguing about Gods. New York, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Pennycook, Gordon, James Allan Cheyne, Paul Seli, Derek J. Koehler, and Jonathan A. Fugelsang. “Analytic cognitive style predicts religious and paranormal belief.” Cognition 123, no. 3 (2012): 335–46. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2012.03.003.

Philipse, Herman. God in the Age of Science? A Critique of Religious Reason. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Plantinga, Alvin. God and other Minds: A study of the rational justification of belief in God. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967.

———, ed. The Ontological Argument from St. Anselm to Contemporary Philosophers: With an introd. by Richard Taylor. London [u.a.]: Macmillan, 1968.

———. “Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments: Lecture Notes.” Unpublished manuscript, 1986.

———. Warranted Christian belief. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Prinz, Jesse. “The emotional basis of moral judgments.” Philosophical Explorations 9, no. 1 (2006): 29–43. doi:10.1080/13869790500492466.

Rutten, Emanuel. Towards a Renewed Case for Theism: A Critical Cssessment of Contemporary Cosmological Arguments. [S.l.: s.n.], 2012.

Szatkowski, Mirosław, ed. Ontological Proofs Today. 1., neue Ausg. Philosophische Analyse Bd. 50. Frankfurt [u.a.]: Ontos-Verl., 2012.

Thurston, William P. “On Proof and Progress in Mathematics.” In 18 Unconventional Essays on the Nature of Mathematics. Edited by Reuben Hersh, 37–55. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media Inc, 2006.

van Fraassen, Bas C. Laws and symmetry. Oxford, New York: Clarendon Press, 1989.

van Inwagen, Peter. The Problem of Evil: The Gifford Lectures 2003. Oxford, New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 2006.

———. Metaphysics. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Perseus Books Group, 2009.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.