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Showing posts from July, 2007

Notes on Ch. 6 of Rowe's Philosophy of Religion Text: "Faith and Reason"

Notes on Rowe, Ch. 6 – “Faith and Reason”

0. Preliminaries:
0.1 So far, we’ve focused our discussion on the issue of whether there is a rational basis for belief in the god of classical theism.
0.2 This discussion has presupposed two ideas
0.1.1 religious beliefs should be evaluated “in the court of reason”
0.1.2 religious beliefs will find favor in this “court” only if they are supported by sufficient evidence
0.3 But a number of people have criticized these two assumptions
0.3.1 against the first assumption: religious beliefs should be accepted by faith, and not by reason
0.3.1.1Faith must be (a) a free choice, and (b) one that requires unconditional acceptance and commitment
0.1.3.2 But if faith were based on reason, then it would be either based on evidence that proves the truth of the relevant religion, or evidence that makes it probable.
0.1.3.3 if faith were based on evidence that proves the truth of the religion, then we are no longer free to ac…

Some Misgivings About Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology

The main thesis of Alvin Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology is that belief in God is, or can be, properly basic; that is, it can be reasonable to believe in a god without any propositional evidence or arguments whatsoever. His Reformed Epistemology comes in two forms: Old School (the version he developed and defendend from the end of the 70s to the late 80s/early 90s) and New School (the version he developed and defended from the early 90s to the present).

To understand the difference between Plantinga's Old School and his New School Reformed Epistemology, we must first point out a distinction between two competing accounts of knowledge and justification: internalism and externalism. Very rougly (VERY roughly -- there are a gazillion versions of internalism and externalism out there now, and there a lots of subtle distinctions regarding them; my characterization here runs roughshod over them), internalism is the view that the factors that render a belief known or justified …

A Defense of Plantinga's Reformed Epistemology From My Chrstian Days

Here's a paper defending Alvin Plantinga's orginal, epistemically internalist version of reformed epistemology from my first year of grad school.

Plantinga, Sennett, and Reformed Epistemology

In “Reason and Belief in God” (hereafter ‘RBG’), as well as in many other contexts, Alvin Plantinga argues that belief in God is “properly basic” That is, belief in God is rational, or justified, or warranted without being based on propositional evidence. This thesis constitutes the core of what is known as ‘Reformed Epistemology’. Call this thesis ‘RET’. James Sennett, among others, denies RET. For example, in his Modality, Probability, and Rationality, he argues that Plantinga fails to show that it is even epistemically possible that RET is true. In this paper, I will give a sketch of Plantinga’s case for RET, as well as Sennett’s critique of it. Finally, I will argue that although Sennett’s arguments have some force, he ultimately fails to make his case against RET. For he fails …