Chapter

Willing Belief and Rational Faith

James Ross

in Evidence and Religious Belief

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603718
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729287 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603718.003.0002
Willing Belief and Rational Faith

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This chapter offers a sustained critique of evidentialism and the notion that religious belief, in order to be rational, has to be based item by item on evidence. It contends that evidentialism fails to square with the way and the reasons for which human beings actually believe what they do. In particular, the chapter argues that induction, a guide by which we all live, is rooted in cognitive reliance that is not itself based on evidence, but is instead employed because using it is rewarding and gets us what we want. Moreover, our reliance on induction and other methods of belief acquisition amounts to a kind of faith that is importantly similar to the religious faith that is the target of evidentialist attacks.

Keywords: evidentialism; induction; faith; religious belief; cognitive reliance

Chapter.  4590 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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