Alvin Plantinga

in Warranted Christian Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195131932
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867486 | DOI:

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The extended Aquinas/Calvin (A/C) model of the last three chapters is intended to show how specifically Christian belief can have justification, internal and external rationality, and warrant. In this chapter, I do two things; first, I consider some of the arguments for the conclusions that theistic and/or Christian belief lacks warrant, and, second, I consider objections to my arguments and claims about the way in which Christian belief can have warrant. I first consider the objection that religious belief can derive warrant from religious experience only if there is a good (noncircular) argument from premises reporting the occurrence of such experience to the existence of God; I rebut this objection by pointing out that it is surely possible for religious belief to derive warrant from religious experience directly, in a basic way, just as perceptual and memory beliefs derive warrant from perceptual and memorial experience in a basic way and not by virtue of inference or argument. After considering a second objection, concerning the alleged incapacity of experience to account for the specificity of religious belief, I reply to an objection due to Richard Gale, according to which it is impossible to have a veridical perceptual experience of God. I then examine and reply to (1) a number of objections to my claim that theistic and Christian belief can receive warrant in the basic way, including the so‐called Great Pumpkin objection and descendants of it, and (2) the objection that there is something circular in my account.

Keywords: Christian belief; Gale; God; Great Pumpkin; religious experience; warrant

Chapter.  14571 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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