Refutation of the Reformed Objection

Herman Philipse

in God in the Age of Science?

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697533
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738470 | DOI:
Refutation of the Reformed Objection

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The aim of Chapter 4 is to decide whether Alvin Plantinga’s reformed objection to natural theology is successful for modern, well-educated Christian believers. Although there is a solution to the problem of generality for Plantinga’s externalist theory of warrant, it is argued that the problem of religious diversity introduces insuperable difficulties for the Extended Aquinas/Calvin model of warranted Christian belief, because other religions can function as defeaters. ‘Decent’ Christian believers cannot neutralize these defeaters unless they engage in natural theology and show that their creed is true. The A/C warrant for Christian belief cannot be an intrinsic neutralizer of the defeaters. Furthermore, mere negative apologetics will not suffice in order to restore the warrant of Christian belief if it is undercut by a defeating secular explanation of religious beliefs. In short, the positive apologetics of natural theology is indispensable to well-educated, contemporary Christians, even if they have read their Plantinga.

Keywords: problem of Generality; Externalism; Internalism; Reliabilism; sensus divinitatis; religious diversity; rebutting defeaters; undercutting defeaters; neutralizer; defeater deflector; religious exclusivism; intrinsic neutralizer; truth-maker; transparent access; negative apologetics; defeating explanation of religious belief

Chapter.  13190 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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