“An innate tendency to believe”

Excerpts from Alvin Plantinga’s prepared remarks for the Templeton Prize ceremony on September 24, 2017


This prize is given for spiritual progress or progress in religion. I don’t know if I’ve made progress in religion – I started out as a member of the Christian Reformed Church, and I’m still Christian Reformed – but maybe that’s not the sort of progress they had in mind.

What I have done is this. I’ve argued that belief in God, and more specifically Christian belief, is not irrational. Maybe that doesn’t look like much of a big deal (and maybe it isn’t). But very many philosophers have argued that belief in God is indeed irrational; and of course if it is irrational, we ought not to accept it. They think as follows: it would clearly be irrational to believe in God if there were not good evidence for the existence of God. But there really isn’t any good evidence for theism. That’s because the only real candidate for such evidence would be the so-call theistic proofs – arguments for the existence of God. And these proofs really don’t work.

Now what I’ve argued, in a nutshell, is this. First of all, that there are some pretty good arguments for theism, for the existence of God. Maybe none of these theistic arguments is absolutely conclusive – hardly any philosophical arguments are – but some of them are in fact pretty good arguments. More important, though, what I’ve argued is that if belief in God is true – if there really is such a person as God – then belief in God is not irrational...

[...] That’s what I’ve spent most of my life arguing. It may be a small point, but I think it’s important.





Autor: Andrzej Zykubek
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 17.05.2019, godz. 08:56 - Andrzej Zykubek