Warranted Belief in God

Alvin Plantinga

in Warranted Christian Belief

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

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In the last chapter, I pointed out that the objections against religious belief made by Freud and Marx amount to the de jure objection that religious belief lacks warrant. By way of response, I offer in this chapter a model (the Aquinas/Calvin model), which illustrates a way in which theistic belief could have warrant. On the Aquinas/Calvin (or A/C) model, we (human beings) have a faculty or cognitive mechanism (the sensus divinitatis or sense of divinity), which, in a wide variety of circumstances, produces in us beliefs about God; the theistic beliefs thus produced, furthermore, are properly basic with respect to warrant. After presenting the A/C model, I argue that if theism is true, then it is likely that belief in God has warrant and is properly basic with respect to warrant; this implies that a successful atheological objection will have to be to the truth of theism, not to its warrant, rationality, justification or intellectual respectability. I then turn to the objections of Freud and Marx (considered in the previous chapter) and argue that these objections fail as de jure objections to theistic belief; what I call the Freud‐and‐Marx complaint is a good objection only on the assumption that theism is false.

Keywords: Aquinas; belief; Calvin; Freud; Marx; religious belief; sensus divinitatis; theism; warrant

Chapter.  16315 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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