Sin and Its Cognitive Consequences

Alvin Plantinga

in Warranted Christian Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780195131932
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867486 | DOI:
Sin and Its Cognitive Consequences

Show Summary Details


In Ch. 6, I presented a model (the Aquinas/Calvin model, or A/C model), which illustrates how belief in God could have warrant; my aim in the next four chapters (7–10) is to extend the model of Ch. 6 to specifically include Christian belief, and to show how it can be that Christians can be justified, rational, and warranted in holding full‐blooded Christian belief. Now, one important difference between bare theism and Christianity has to do with sin and the divine remedy proposed for it; in the present chapter, therefore, I explore the nature of sin and its noetic effects. After providing an initial statement of the extended A/C model, I turn to an examination of the nature of sin, focusing especially on original sin, a condition affecting both will and intellect. According to the extended A/C model, the noetic effects of sin are concentrated with respect to our knowledge of others, ourselves, and God; most importantly, the sensus divinitatis has been damaged by sin. After exploring this basic noetic consequence of sin, I return to an issue from Ch. 12 of Warrant and Proper Function, and take the opportunity to make some corrections, simplifications, and additions to the arguments I offered there (especially to the argument I offered for the conclusion that an ordinary naturalist has a defeater for any belief she holds, including ordinary naturalism itself).

Keywords: Aquinas; Calvin; Christian belief; naturalism; original sin; sensus divinitatis; sin; warrant

Chapter.  21429 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.