In Justin Barrett Roger Trigg (ed.), The Root of Religion. Ashgate (2014)

Joshua C. Thurow
University of Texas at San Antonio
Religious belief and behavior raises the following two questions: (Q1) Does God, or any other being or state that is integral to various religious traditions, exist? (Q2) Why do humans have religious beliefs and engage in religious behavior? How one answers (Q2) can affect how reasonable individuals can be in accepting a particular answer to (Q1). My aim in this chapter is to carefully distinguish the various ways in which an answer to Q2 might affect the rationality of believing in God. A literature has sprouted around this exact issue, but it has heretofore focused almost exclusively on one way in which a genealogy for p can affect the rationality of believing p – namely, by the genealogy functioning within a debunking argument. However, there are other ways a genealogy can affect the rationality of a belief. I suggest that we should be interested in whether genealogies more broadly cast doubt on religious beliefs. My main goal is: (i) to argue that CSR does not cast doubt on theistic belief in a few of the primary ways that propositions can cast doubt on other propositions, including via a debunking argument; and (ii) to suggest that one plausible way in which CSR might cast doubt on theistic belief is by undermining various traditional theistic reasons, and to illustrate how this might work with one example of a traditional theistic reason – religious experience.
Keywords cognitive science of religion  doubt  skepticism  religious epistemology  evolutionary debunking arguments  religious experience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Debunking and Fully Apt Belief.Joshua C. Thurow - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
The X-Claim Argument Against Religious Belief Offers Nothing New.Justin McBrayer & Weston Ellis - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (2):223-232.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Does the Scientific Study of Religion Cast Doubt on Theistic Belief?Joshua C. Thurow - 2014 - In Michael Bergmann Patrick Kain (ed.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 277-294.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Against Theism, Reconsidered.Jonathan Jong & Aku Visala - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (3):243-258.
Peirce on the Epistemology of Religious Belief.Stanley Ralph Hall - 1994 - Dissertation, Saint Louis University
Does Cognitive Humility Lead to Religious Tolerance? Reflections on Craig Versus Quinn.Michael S. Jones - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):73-89.
Cognitive Science and Religious Belief.Graham Wood - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (10):734-745.
Explaining Religion (Away?).Jonathan Jong - 2013 - Sophia 52 (3):521-533.
Lewis on Experience, Reason, and Religious Belief.Eugene Thomas Long - 1981 - Review of Metaphysics 35 (1):87 - 109.


Added to PP index

Total views
22 ( #515,925 of 2,520,772 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #41,079 of 2,520,772 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes