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Religious Beliefs as World-View Beliefs

Winfried Löffler


In this paper, I defend a moderately cognitive account of religious beliefs. Religious beliefs are interpreted as “worldview beliefs”, which I explicate as being indispensable to our everyday and scientific practice; my reading is nonetheless distinct from non-cognitivist readings of “worldview belief” which occasionally appear in the literature. I start with a brief analysis of a recent German contribution to the debate which on the one hand (rightly) insists on the priority of epistemic reasons for or against religious beliefs, but on the other hand contends that religious beliefs are worldview beliefs (section 1). This leads me to explicate a special sense of worldview beliefs, as well as their cognitive role (2). After that, I shed some light on a special epistemological characteristic of worldview beliefs, namely the strong involvement of “free certitude” in their acceptance. I explore the implications for the possible role of arguments for worldview beliefs, especially for worldview beliefs concerning theism (3).

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