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Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 1 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God zAlvin Plantinga’s argument against arguments for.

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Presentation on theme: "Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 1 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God zAlvin Plantinga’s argument against arguments for."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 1 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God zAlvin Plantinga’s argument against arguments for the existence of God yAppeals to the Reformed tradition x19th century Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck Looks to Scripture for a model Scripture proceeds from God as a starting point

2 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 2 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God Compares the existence of God to the existence of self, or the world around us. We do not need arguments to establish the existence of these phenomena. The existence of God is established “by the spontaneous testimony which forces itself upon us from every side” (Peterson et al 310)

3 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 3 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God xPlantinga’s comment on Bavinck We do not need arguments for the rational justification of God’s existence

4 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 4 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God The theist is within her epistemic rights to believe in God without rational arguments. xCalvin adds this to the Reformed position on the existence of God God has implanted an innate tendency or disposition to believe in God within all persons. Sin clouds this.

5 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 5 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God xPlantinga: So the Reformed tradition proposes that belief in God is “properly basic.” But the Reformed tradition rejects the picture of knowledge as painted by classical or strong foundationalism (e.g., Aquinas, Descartes).

6 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 6 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God Strong foundationalism åself-evident & certain foundation åstrict entailment to superstructure

7 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 7 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God Reformed epistemology accepts weak foundationalism--knowledge does have a foundation, but the foundation need not be self-evident, & the relationship to superstructure need not be strict entailment. åE.g.s of foundational beliefs: “There is a tree over there.” “I chatted with Joan yesterday.”

8 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 8 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God God is one of these foundation beliefs, & existence of God is properly basic. Cf. Aquinas & Taylor -- existence of God is rational justified because it can be inferred from other beliefs.

9 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 9 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God xThe Great Pumpkin objection Why can’t we believe the Voodoo or astrology or that the Great Pumpkin returns every Halloween are properly basic? Plantinga appeals to the natural tendency to believe in God; this is not the case with the Great Pumpkin

10 Plantinga on God as properly basic ~ slide 10 Plantinga on rational arguments for the existence of God zCritique yStrength: Plantinga abandons the tradition which claims that the only sound knowledge is that which is certain or based on knowledge which is certain. Properly basic beliefs and not certain & may turn out to be false. yNatural tendency & clouding


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