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Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for GodThe Plantinga Project$
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Jerry L. Walls and Trent Dougherty

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190842215

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190842215.001.0001

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The Argument from Positive Epistemic Status

The Argument from Positive Epistemic Status

Evolutionary Psychology and the Argument from Positive Epistemic Status

Chapter:
(J) The Argument from Positive Epistemic Status
Source:
Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God
Author(s):

Justin L. Barrett

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190842215.003.0010

Plantinga’s suggested argument for God from positive epistemic status takes as its starting point that many of our beliefs have positive epistemic status and that such positive status is best thought of as derived from our belief-forming faculties functioning properly in an appropriate environment. Plantinga suggests that this proper function is best understood in terms of a designer having engineered these faculties for particular purposes, the best candidate for this designer being God. A ready objection is that the needed “proper” functioning could be derived from evolution and, so, God is not obviously the best candidate for being the “designer.” This essay evaluates versions of this objection in reference to recent scientific research from cognitive developmental psychology and cognitive science of religion.

Keywords:   cognitive developmental psychology, designer, epistemic status

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