Warranted Atheist Belief



Is there anything like a satire or serious response to Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief for Naturalism / atheism / agnosticism..... something along the flavor of the title?


Posted 2018-04-15T23:02:24.657

Reputation: 255

1Why would you think there would? The thesis at its core is that belief in God is a type of "basic belief" which doesn't depend on other beliefs for its validity. This is in response to the claim that belief in God requires proof ("warrant") from other beliefs one has about the world... – virmaior – 2018-04-16T01:41:48.350

1Maybe to word that another way, Plantinga's claim is that belief in God deserves a seat at the table (in a context where many empiricists and naturalists don't think it does). So then the usual response from many is "no, it doesn't deserve a seat" rather than "we deserve a seat at this table too" under the title "warranted atheist belief" or something like that. (if anything, such a response would strengthen the validity of his position). – virmaior – 2018-04-16T01:43:16.237

@virmaior I agree that many skeptics do speak the way you claim (i.e. they say "Theists cannot have warrant in their beliefs"). But to answer you question, "Why would you think there would [be a book on Warranted Agnostic Belief]?" Why not? It seems WCB might have motivated a response..... Plantinga's EAAN states that atheists (who accept evolution) cannot have warranted beliefs. I was wondering if there has been any good responses to this. – Clclstdnt – 2018-10-08T20:12:52.953

Nothing has changes in my assessment of this question. I don't understand why -- except as parody -- someone would author something called warranted agnostic belief or describe their view in those terms. Can you explain why you think such a thing would exist on its own merits? – virmaior – 2018-10-08T23:03:45.273

As a serious response to Plantinga's EAAN.... he says that on materialism with evolution the probability of our beliefs being true is very low; therefore, even if atheistic materialism is true, we could not have warrant for our beliefs. I agree that something could exist like this as parody or satire,.... but I'm more curious if anyone has given a good response. I think the best I've heard is that knowledge is a sort of spandrel.

So to clarify, I do NOT accept the responses on YouTube which treat Plantinga as a joke. Such videos are rife with fallacies and are not charitable. – Clclstdnt – 2018-10-09T17:01:09.200

So then really what you're looking for is a philosophical response to EAAN? – virmaior – 2018-10-09T21:23:44.623

That was just one of many things put in WCB. So yes a response to that.... but many other points as well. – Clclstdnt – 2018-10-10T04:39:13.953

Er, so what you mean by "Warranted Agnostic Belief" is a definitive book-length response to WCB from an agnostic / atheistic perspective? – virmaior – 2018-10-10T05:09:21.850

Something like that.... or any sort of response. Book length ideally. I've also read Graham Oppy's "arguing about gods" however this didn't really address the issue of warrant (in my opinion) – Clclstdnt – 2018-10-10T14:43:30.977



Here are a few, taken from Alvin Plantinga's "Warranted Christian Belief":

  • How can you believe in something that's supposedly infinite, all-powerful, etc etc etc which a finite being like you obviously can't even understand? (p. 35)

  • What evidence could be available to support your supernaturalist belief? (p. 37, footnote)

  • The problem of evil is so problematic, there's no way we could know anything about God in the presence of such contradicting thoughts. (p. 63)

  • By what basis can you claim that any belief is properly basic? Is "some beliefs are properly basic" a properly basic belief? Where will the causal chain end?

  • That's not really a good belief: you're mistaken. Or you're deluded. Or you're foolish. Or you just aren't skeptical enough. (p. 96)

  • Some Christian doctrines (like the incarnation and the trinity) are illogical. You are merely suspending disbelief in impossibilities. (p. 102)

  • You aren't enlightened enough: Christian belief is the basis of oppression and slavery, as Nietzsche taught us. (p. 117)

  • Freud was right: the point of religion is to form nasty little man-worshiping cults. That's where you are right now. (p. 118)

  • Marx was right: religion is a perversion of true things about the world. You are wrecking the world with religion. (p. 121)

  • Rousseau was right: religion isn't about virtue, it's about fear and hedonism. (p. 122)

elliot svensson

Posted 2018-04-15T23:02:24.657

Reputation: 4 000

I'm revisiting this question (now almost 6 months later), and I would appreciate a little more context because all you did was throw quotes at me from WCB. Are you saying that Plantinga's WCB is itself a book on Warranted Agnostic Belief? – Clclstdnt – 2018-10-08T20:09:54.297

@Clclstdnt Based on comparison with the actual book, he is providing his own satire/response to different parts of WCB, which I think indicates a "no" to the actual question. These are not quotations from the book. – Alex Strasser – 2019-08-16T03:15:17.333