Who are the best judges of theistic arguments?

Sophia 35 (2):1-12 (1996)


The best judge of the soundness of a philosophical argument is the philosopher with the greatest philosophical aptitude, the deepest knowledge of the relevant subject matter, the most scrupulous character, and a disinterested position with respect to the subject matter. This last feature is important because even a highly intelligent and scrupulous judge may find it hard to reach the right conclusion about a subject in which he or she has a vested interest. When the subject of inquiry is the soundness of theistic arguments, the best judge will be the most intelligent and scrupulous philosopher who is also disinterested in the soundness of the theistic argument under consideration. I argue that, in this case, the disinterestedness requirement is best satisfied by the theist whose belief in God is “properly basic”, and in the course of defending this argument I uncover a little-recognized desideratum for theistic arguments.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

30 (#385,635)

6 months
1 (#388,311)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Mark T. Nelson
Westmont College

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references

Similar books and articles

Modal Theistic Arguments.Graham Oppy - 1993 - Sophia 32 (2):17-24.
Simplicity and Theology.Don Fawkes & Tom Smythe - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (2):259 - 270.
Robert Adams's Theistic Argument From the Nature of Morality.Stephen J. Sullivan - 1993 - Journal of Religious Ethics 21 (2):303 - 312.
Is Theistic Experience Phenomenologically Possible?Kevin Corcoran - 1996 - Religious Studies 32 (4):449 - 461.
Moral Arguments for Theistic Belief.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1979 - In C. F. Delaney (ed.), Rationality and Religious Belief. University of Notre Dame Press.
Theism in Historical Perspective.Timothy Chappell - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (1):123 - 138.
Is Theism Really a Miracle?Alvin Plantinga - 1986 - Faith and Philosophy 3 (2):109-134.