Some Reflections on Cognitive Science, Doubt, and Religious Belief

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


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.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

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: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford ; New York, NY: 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.
Explaining God Away?Kelly James Clark - 2010 - In Melville Y. Stewart (ed.), Science and Religion in Dialogue. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 514--526.


Added to PP

160 (#112,841)

6 months
65 (#61,093)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joshua C. Thurow
University of Texas at San Antonio

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references