The Argument from Motivated Reasoning

Post stub. Very rough draft.

Recent empirical work on motivated reasoning indicates that it is strongly resistant to detection, even despite our best efforts (Ballantyne 2015; Pronin et al. 2002). Perhaps worse, other work shows that attempts to preempt motivated reasoning reinforce its impact (Ehrlinger et al. 2005; Schwitzgebel & Ellis 2017). This is surprising on theism, given that it's surprising that God would design our cognitive faculties in a way that's highly disposed to unreliability -- and likely without remedy -- especially in ways that can be morally pernicious. By contrast, it's not surprising on naturalism, since nature is "indifferent" to our welfare on that hypothesis, and since motivated reasoning is conducive to survival and reproduction (Mercier & Sperber 2011). Therefore, the existence of motivated reasoning is at least some evidence for naturalism vis-a-vis theism.

What God Would Have Known... the title of J.L. Schellenberg's forthcoming book , which offers a large number of novel arguments against Christian theism. I...