Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Is lack of CPUE for a god sufficient warrant for passive lack of belief in a god?

I raise this topic for two reasons:

1) to point out that, for the most part, theistic arguments are not so much arguments that god exists, but rather arguments that there is "warrant" to believe in the existence of god (a la Plantinga and his followers including Craig), and

2) to ponder whether apologetic theists could stomach this position, given that, for the most part, they are all about "warrant" for their own belief rather than actual evidence of the sort that would persuade a non-theist to change their position.

I used the neologistical acronym "CPUE" to mean "credible, persuasive and unique evidence" - by which, in this context, I mean evidence that is not fallacious or ridiculous on the face of it, is persuasive to one who is not already ideologically committed to the god conclusion and is supportive only of the god conclusion and not equally (or more) supportive of alternative, competing conclusions (such as naturalism, materialism and physicalism).

For the purposes of this question, I am conceding that "passive lack of belief in a god" is close enough to "belief in the absence of a god" to be covered by considerations of "warrant".  Note that this does not accurately portray my actual position.  If anyone has huge problems with this, perhaps I could reword the question to "Does lack of credible, persuasive and unique evidence for god contribute towards sufficient warrant for the belief that there is no utility in going beyond passive lack of belief in god (in either direction, towards theism or strong(er) atheism)?"  But hopefully the reader gets the idea.

I'm not going to get into "warrant" as a topic since, as used by Plantinga, it's not a concept that I really go along with.  You can look it up if you want to know more about it.  For those who agree that "warrant" is a load of old cobblers, you can substitute it with "justification".

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