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Warranted Christian Belief$
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Alvin Plantinga

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195131932

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195131932.001.0001

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Warranted Belief in God

Warranted Belief in God

(p.167) 6 Warranted Belief in God
Warranted Christian Belief

Alvin Plantinga (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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