Thread: Belief in God Instinctive?
July 26th 2011, 06:47 PM #106
Re: Belief in God Instinctive?
I just remembered Seer that I never got back to your response to my comment in post 9.
I hold that a person can rationally believe that certain areas of their cognitive faculties are unreliable. And a naturalistic evolutionist has good reason for thinking that the reliability of cognitive faculties in an area dedicated to metaphysical beliefs that do not directly bear on an individual's survival need not reflect the state of the reliability of an individual's cognitive faculties across the board.
Last edited by nightbringer; July 26th 2011 at 06:53 PM. Reason: Got my own argument wrong."We have all our beliefs but we don't want our beliefs; God of peace, we want you." Aaron Weiss
July 27th 2011, 07:58 AM #107
Re: Belief in God Instinctive?"And all our yesterdays have lighted fools, the way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Shakespeare
July 29th 2011, 02:41 PM #108
Re: Belief in God Instinctive?
Surely not. You know that the device isn't likely to be reliable specifically when it comes to spotting birds, so the fact that the device hasn't in fact been reliable in spotting birds isn't much cause for concern when it comes to judging the overall reliability of the device.
In the same way the naturalist might believe that human cognitive faculties aren't likely to be reliable in the specific area of metaphysical belief formation. So when it turns out that human cognitive faculties aren't reliable in metaphysical belief formation (at least in the eyes of the naturalist), she needn't be much concerned about the overall reliability of human cognitive faculties. This stands just so long as she does have a good reason to suspect that specifically metaphysical belief formation will be unreliable, given naturalism and evolution. And I think she does.
While there might be a range of false beliefs about the natural world that are still either conducive or neutral in regards to adaptive behaviour I think there's a much wider range of false metaphysical beliefs which are conducive or neutral in regards to adaptive behaviour. As I said in my original post, it matters a lot more in regards to survival whether your beliefs are approximately true about the tiger attacking you, than they do about what might be the case about unseen ultimate reality. (Given the link between the development of philosophy and the development of lifestyles that allowed for periods of comfortable reflection, this shouldn't be surprising.)
Accepting a lack of reliability in metaphysical belief formation might still incur a cost to the naturalistic evolutionist, but I think it's one which is slightly distinct (or refined) from that argued for in Plantinga's basic argument (however good that argument might already be.)"We have all our beliefs but we don't want our beliefs; God of peace, we want you." Aaron Weiss
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