Common Core/Diversity Dilemma, Agatheism and the Epistemology of Religious Belief

Thomas D. Senor
2017 European Journal for Philosophy of Religion  
The essay "The Common-Core/Diversity Dilemma: Revisions of Humean Thought, New Empirical Research, and the Limits of Rational Religious Belief" is a bold argument for the irrationality of "first-order" religious belief (that is, the belief that adherents to particular religions have). However, unlike those associated with "New Atheism," the paper's authors Branden Thornhill-Miller and Peter Millican claim both that there are prospects for rational "second-order" religious belief (a
more » ... ral belief in a designer of some sort) and that religious belief and practice can play a positive role in human life. In response to Thornhill-Miller and Millican, Janusz Salamon has argued that first- order religious belief can be rational, although not via the methods that philosophers who have typically defended the reasonability of faith have appealed to. Both papers are fascinating discussions of the epistemology of religious belief in general, and of the rationality of such commitment in light of modern science and religious disagreement in particular. In this paper, I'll object to a few points made in each essay and argue that neither paper provides good reason to be dubious about the religious belief being rational along traditional lines.
doi:10.24204/ejpr.v8i4.1764 fatcat:7crscwyngrge3nwj2f4j6iuwta