Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 10

1

Nathan Mueller
20 December 2012
Word Count: 5190

Belief In God As Properly Basic:


A Consideration of Plantingas Reformed Epistemology

Many philosophersW.K. Clifford, Brand Blanshard, Bertrand Russell, Michael Scriven,


and Anthony Flew, to name a few contemporary examples1have argued that theistic belief,
particularly belief in God, is either irrational or unreasonable or perhaps intellectually irresponsible
because it lacks sufficient justificatory evidencecall this the evidentialist objection. However, this
objection is not new and the task of providing sufficient justificatory evidence for the existence of
God has been part of the philosophical project of theistic philosophers for quite some time. This
intellectual project, known as natural theology, has resulted in such historic arguments, or proofs, for
Gods existence as Anselms Ontological Argument, Aquinas five ways, and, more recently,
William Lane Craigs Kalm Cosmological Argument. These proofs, it is held, are supposed to
raise the epistemic status of [their] conclusion[s] above what that status would be in absence of the
proof,2 hopefully reaching high enough epistemic status to justify the belief they are meant to
support and as a result allow the belief to be claimed as knowledge. While these two groupscall
the latter natural theologians and the former natural atheologians3differ in their conclusions regarding
the successfulness of natural theology, they are in agreement as to the fact that theistic belief is
rationally acceptable only if there is sufficient evidence for it.4
However, natural theology has been criticized and rejected by Reformed thinkers who have
argued that not only is the whole of the project misguided, but also that belief in God need not be
based on argument or evidence from other propositions at all,5 that is, one is wholly rational to
accept belief in God without grounding it on any other beliefs or otherwise basic propositions. This
position holds that belief in God is properly basic and has received its most notable and robust defense
from Alvin Plantinga. This paper will explore more deeply the Reformed position that belief in God
is properly basic by considering in detail Plantingas case in the affirmative and then considering
some replys to Plantingas position that in the negative. It is not, however, the aim to argue
conclusively that either Plantinga or his objectors are wholly successful in their articulation of the
epistemic status of belief in God, but rather to provide an picture of the discussion that will enable
one to more clearly understand the issues at stake. The paper, then, will proceed as follows: first, it
will provide an articulation of Plantingas Reformed Epistemology, second, it will articulate two
notable responses to Plantingas position, and finally, it will conclude with some considerations
regarding the epistemic status of belief in God in light of the discussion presented below.
Plantingas Reformed Epistemology
This section will begin by considering how we should understand the notion of theistic belief.
Next it will seek to provide a clearer articulation of the evidentialist objection to theistic belief. It
will then explore Plantingas argument against classical foundationalism, in which he believes the
evidentialist objection is grounded. This in turn will allow us to see the motivations for Plantingas
move to an externalistic epistemology that holds belief in God to be properly basic.
Theistic Belief

2
We must begin by recognizing a distinction that Plantinga himself is careful to point out. He
There is an important difference, he writes, between believing that God exists and believing in
God. To believe that God exists is just to accept a certain propositionthe proposition that there
really is such a person as Godas trueTo believe in God, however, is to trust him, to commit
your life to him, to make his purposes your ownSo there is a difference between believing in God
and believing that he exists.6 Accordingly, it is to be noted that while believing in God is indeed
more than accepting the proposition that God existsit is also at least that; for, one cannot
sensibly believe in God and thank him for the mountains without believing that he exists.7
However, what is it to believe that God exists? Plantinga argues that it is, first of all, to hold
a belief of a certain sort. It is, writes Plantinga, to believethat there exists a being of a certain very
special sort.8 Namely the sort of being who acts, holds beliefs, and has aims and purposes.9
Furthermore, this being is immaterial, exists a se, is perfect in goodness, knowledge, and power, and
is such that the world depends on him for existence.10 It is not the concern of the paper to take
issue with the details of Plantingas theological understanding of the person of God. However,
suffice it to say, these details are provided to clarify what Plantinga understands as theistic belief, and
clearly he has in mind an orthodox understanding to which many, if not most, theistic believers
should have no problem assenting.
Let us return, briefly, to the distinction with which this section began. While the distinction
between the propositions belief in God and belief that God exists is a very real and important
one, Plantinga moves, for the purpose of economy, to understand the proposition belief in God
as being synonymous with belief that God exists. Let us now move to consider the evidentialist
objection to belief in God.
The Evidentialist Objection to Theistic Belief
Plantinga articulates the evidentialist objection in the following manner:
What is essential to [the evidentialist objection] is the claim that we must evaluate the
rationality of belief in God by examining its relation to other propositions. We are directed to
estimate its rationality by determining where we have evidence for itwhether we know, or at
any rate rationally believe, some other propositions which stand in the appropriate relation
to the proposition in question. And belief in God is rational, or reasonable, or rationally
acceptable, on this view, only if there are other propositions with respect to which it is thus
evident.11
Specifically, in regards to theistic belief the evidentialist objector, writes Plantinga, holds that one
who accepts theistic belief is in some way irrational or noetically substandard.12
The evidentialist objection, however, does not stop here. It continues to make the specific
claim that when belief in God is subjected toepistemic evaluation in connection with other
beliefs it will be found to be unacceptable.13 In this articulation of the objection it is important to
see that the objection being made is one that is presented in normative or evaluative terms. The
objector is making the claim that the theist believer fails to meet a standard to which it is assumed
any rational believer (theist or not) must be measured. That is, the evidentialist holds that there is a
right way and a wrong way with respect to belief as with respect to action: we have duties,
responsibilities, obligations with respect to the former just as with respect to the latter.14 Thus, it
seems that the evidentialist is committed to the notion that one has a duty or obligation to not
accept without evidence such propositions as that God exists lest he break his intellectual
obligation to rationality, reasonability, and intellectual responsibility.
However, there is a difficulty with prescribing the general duty that if one does not have
evidence for her belief, then she ought to abandon that beliefnamely, that ones beliefs, for the

3
most part, are not directly under ones control.15 It seems beyond the power of most rational
agents to shed beliefs when faced with the fact that they do not possess sufficient justificatory
evidence for that belief. Perhaps, then, this obligation should be understood as an obligation to
form intellectual habits of the sort that would hopefully lead one to accept as basic only those that
are actually basic. If this intellectual obligation is actual and regardless of the manner in which it is
understood (Plantinga identifies at least three), the evidentialist objector finds himself presupposing
some view as to what sort of propositions are correctly, or rightly, or justifiably taken as basic;
[they] presuppose a view as to what is properly basic. And the minimally relevant claim for the
evidentialist objector is that belief in God is not properly basic.16 This has the important implication
of demonstrating that the evidentialist objection to the proposition belief in God is properly basic
presupposes its own set of properly basic beliefs, making it a version of foundationalism, and in
particular some version of classical foundationalism. Let us turn our attention there.
Contra Classical Foundationalism
We have seen to this point that the evidentialist objection of natural atheologians, holds that the
theistic believer, and here we have in mind orthodox theism, is either irrational, unreasonable, or
intellectually irresponsible because she holds to a belief that lack adequate justificatory evidence.
However, in making this objection the evidentialist has show her hand and proven herself to be
committed to a version of classical foundationalism which itself presupposes certain beliefs to be basic.
Plantinga finds in this admission a wonderful opportunity for the theist believer to once and for all
place to rest the evidentialist objection that has long plagued theists.
Classical Foundationalism is a larger moniker for two historical versions of foundationalism.
The first is a form of foundationalism that can be found in the works of both Aristotle and Aquinas
and which we will categorize as ancient and medieval foundationalism. This version of
foundationalism holds that a proposition is properly basic for a person only if it is self-evident to
him or evident to the senses.17 By such propositions Aristotle and Aquinas had in mind
propositions of the sort there is a red notebook on my desk. A properly basic belief of this sort is
grounded on ones immediate perception via sight or some other sense, whereby immediate
epistemic knowledge is obtained.
The second version of classical foundationalism, modern foundationalism, accepts the
starting point provided by the ancient and medieval fountationalists but argues that since both selfevident and evident to the senses carry the connotation of immediate perception, they can and
should be folded under the same label of self-evident. Additionally, modern foundationalism
insists that propositions basic in rational noetic structure must be certain in some important sense
as well.18 Plantinga sees W.K. Clifford as providing the paradigmatic articulation of this additional
condition. The Cliffordian, according to Plantinga, holds that a proposition of this sort is like a
necessary proposition in that it is not possible for me to believe it mistakenly and that it is unlike a
necessary propositionin that it is also not possible for me to believe its denial mistakenly.19
Propositions meeting this criterion are said to be incorrigible.20 Thus, modern foundationalism holds
that a belief is properly basic if and only if either it is self-evident
It is these two versions that constitute the classical foundationalism that Plantinga has in
mind and that form the classical foundationalism holding that a proposition p is properly basic for a
person S if and only if p is either self-evident or incorrigible for S (modern foundationalism) or
either self-evident or evident to the senses for S (ancient and medieval foundationalism).21
J. Wesley Robbins provides a very clear and succinct articulation of Plantingas rejection of
classical foundationalism:

4
Plantinga proceeds by raising questions about the epistemic value of the classical
foundationalist belief that only self-evident or incorrigible beliefs are epistemologically
privileged. In particular, he asks where this belief itself is one that is epistemologically
privileged. It is, he contends, neither self-evident nor incorrigible. It should, then, by
classical foundationalist standards be treated as a belief that is naturally questionable,
deriving whatever epistemic value it may have from its relation to other beliefs.22
Put in other terms classical foundationalism is self-referentially incoherent because in accepting its
own principle, it violates its own condition of proper basicality since the principle itself is neither
self-evident nor incorrigible. Thus, classical foundationalism is undermined and with it the
evidentialist objection to theistic belief.
What implications does this have on Plantingas case in favour of understanding belief in
God as properly basic?
Properly Basic Belief
The rejection of classical foundationalism has a twofold positive outcome for the theistic
believer. First, as was just shown, the evidentialist objection to theistic belief is rooted in classical
foundationalism. Accordingly, the objection stands, or falls, with classical foundationalism and since
classical foundationalism is internally incoherent both should be deemed failures and abandoned.
However, what if one is not entirely convinced of Plantingas argument against classical
foundationalism? Does the theistic believer still have a possible course of action? According to
Plantinga, yes, and this is the second positive outcome of Plantingas articulation and consideration
of the foundationalist presupposition.
Even if one is not entire convinced of Plantingas case against the foundationalist there is
still hope for a theist response to the evidentialist objector and Plantinga identifies it as follows:
Insofar as the evidentialist objection is rooted in classical foundationalism, it is poorly rooted
indeed: and so far as I know, no one has developed and articulated any other reason for supposing
that belief in God is not properly basic.23 What Plantinga is pointing out here is this; regardless of
whether or not one is convinced that classical foundationalism is internally incoherent, one should at
least recognize the epistemic privilege that the foundationalist grants herself when she says that
belief in God cannot be properly basic because the belief is neither self-evident not incorrigible. In
making the claim, she is herself granting properly basic status to a beliefnamely, that a belief is
properly basic iff it is either self-evident or incorrigiblethat is itself neither self-evident nor
incorrigible. And if she can make this move, why not also the theistic believer?
Well, the foundationalist may reply, perhaps the class of properly basic beliefs is larger than
the class articulated by classical foundationalism, nevertheless belief in God is still not within that
class for two reasons; first, that if one is to accept the proposition that belief in God is properly
basic without any evidence for the claim, then ones belief will be groundless and arbitrary, and,
furthermore, that if one is to accept that belief if God is properly basic without grounds, why cannot
just any belief be deemed as properly basic? Plantinga has a reply to each of these objections.
Contra The First Objection
Even if one does not possess justificatory evidence for a belief, it does not follow that the belief
is groundless. Plantinga asks the conscientious objector to consider the following examples:
(1) I see a tree,
(2) I had breakfast this morning,
and

5
(3) That a person is angry.24
Although beliefs of this sort, and by this Plantinga has in mind perceptual beliefs, memory beliefs,
and beliefs that ascribe mental states to other persons, are typically and properly taken as basic, it
would be a mistake to describe them as groundless.25 Why does Plantinga believe this to be the case?
Consider (1). In the typical case, this belief is not held on the basis of any other beliefs. It
is, rather, the case I have a belief that I am perceiving a tree on the basis of my having some sort of
experience. In this manner, and similar examples can be provided for Plantingas other example
beliefs, the belief is taken to be properly basic in light of certain conditions and these conditions
are, we might say, the ground of its justification and by extension, the ground of the belief itself. In
this sense, basic beliefs are not, or are not necessarily, groundless beliefs.26 A similar case can be
made, Plantinga insists, for belief in God.
When reformed thinkers, and here Plantinga leans heavily on Calvin, claim that [belief in
God] is properly basic, they do not mean to say, of course, that there are no justifying circumstances
for it, or that is in that sense groundless or gratuitious. Quite to the contraryGod has so created
us that we have a tendency or disposition to see his hand in the world about us.27 This tendency, or
disposition, serves to provide justificatory grounds for the properly basic belief in God in a way
analogous to the way that my experience of perceiving a tree provides justificatory grounds for my
belief that I see a tree. Accordingly, it is incorrect to hold that belief in God is groundless. Thus,
the first foundationalist objection against the proposition that belief in God is properly basic is
defeated.
Contra The Second Objection
One will recall that the second objection builds on the first and progresses from the claim
that belief in God is groundless to claim that if belief in God still properly basic, why cannot just any
belief be taken to be properly basic? Since the objection concerning groundlessness has been
defeated and this second objection shares with it common intuitional grounds, this second objection
is already on uncertain grounds. However, Plantinga is convinced that it can be wholly defeated and
argues for that position in the following manner. Specifically, Plantinga articulates the objection as
follows:
if belief in God is properly basic, why cant just any belief be properly basic? Couldnt we
say the same for any bizarre aberration we can think of? What about voodoo or astrology?
What about the belief that the Great Pumpkin returns every Halloween? Could I properly
take that as properly basic? And if I cant why can I properly take belief in God as basic?...If
we say that belief in God is properly basic, wont we be committed to holding that just
anything, or nearly anything, can be properly taken as basic, thus throwing wide the gates to
irrationalism and superstition?
Plantingas reply,
Certainly not.28
Why, though, belief as Plantinga does? Because, even though the Reformed epistemologist
rejects the classical foundationalists criteria for proper basicality, it does not mean that he is
committed to supposing just anything is properly basic.29 Yes, the Reformed epistemologists reject
these criteria. However, these criteria were argued to deductively. What is to stop her, though, from
accepting a different set of criteria via inductive reasoning? Absolutely nothing, argues Plantinga. The
theistic believer is tasked with collecting examples of beliefs and conditions of the latter sort, frame
hypotheses concerning the examples collected, and then, finally, testing the hypotheses against the
set of examples.30

6
Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that everyone will agree on the examples. Natural
atheologians will disagree with the theistic believer about the set of examples. For Plantinga,
however, this is not a problem. For he asks, must my criteria, or those of the Christian community,
conform to their examples? Surely not. The Christian community is responsible to its set of
examples, not to theirs.31 As such, the Reformed epistemologist can legitimately hold that belief in
the Great Pumpkin, for example, is not properly basic, while belief in God is, because he is
committed to a certain set of examples that grants him the basis to claim that there is a relevant
difference between these two beliefs. Thus, the Reformed epistemologist is under no obligation to
allow that just any belief can be properly basic and, as a result, the second objection to Plantingas
Reformed epistemology is defeated.
Conclusion
We have seen in this section how Plantingas Reformed epistemology is a response to the
evidentialist objection to theistic belief. We began by briefly articulating the conception of theistic
belief that Plantinga sees as the focus of the evidentialist objection. We then considered, in greater
detail, the evidentialist objection itself and saw that it was rooted in a commitment to classical
foundationalism. Next Plantingas objection to classical foundationalism was considered and saw
that it gave him one response to the evidentialist objection. We then saw that even if one was not
convinced of Plantingas defeater to classical naturalism, Plantinga could further respond to the
objection with an appeal to Reformed epistemology. Finally, we considered two immediate
objections to Reformed epistemology and Plantingas reply to them.
Two Responses to Plantingas Reformed Epistemology
In this section we will consider two specific responses to Plantingas Reformed
epistemology; namely, those of Stuart Goetz and J. Wesley Robbins. It will be argued that since
Goetzs objection is more of an objection to Plantingas externalistic epistemology than his
particular argument that belief in God is properly basic, the argument is better understood as a
contribution to the larger internalist/externalist debate within epistemological foundationalism.
Accordingly, it will be held that Robbins response to Plantinga is the more damning of the two and
leaves the epistemological question concerning belief in God in greater doubt than is perhaps
comfortable.
Goetzs Objection
Goetzs objection to Plantinga takes only ten pages and is quite simple to articulate. His
basic contention in Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic is that belief in God ought not to be
considered as basic because it cannot be.32 More specifically, Goetz holds that belief in God is not
basic because it is inferred, and thus based on a more basic proposition held to be true by the person
doing the believing.33
Goetzs argument proceeds as follows. First, he agrees with Plantinga that the classical
foundationalist position is on uncertain ground at best and that Plantingas arguments contra classical
foundationalism are successful in undermining this approach to understanding belief in God.
Furthermore, he agrees with Plantingas response to the second objection to Reformed epistemology
that an inductive procedure for arriving at the criteria required for properly basic belief is the correct
course of action. However, contrary to Plantinga, Goetz still holds that belief in God is not properly
basic because, as he sees it, in affirming belief in God one must reason inductively through beliefs

7
concerning ones self. As he puts it, I think that if I (or Plantinga) am to believe or know that God
exists and is related to be and the world in the ways Plantinga suggests, then I need to make certain
inferences about God based upon knowledge of myself.34
Furthermore, Goetz concludes, One can only maintain that belief in God is properly basic
by ignoring ones own contingency. I contend that anyone who believes in God must acknowledge
his contingency and that his knowledge of his contingent nature enables him to infer the existence
of a necessary being or beings.35
While it is not within the scope of this paper to enter into the debate between internalism
and externalism it is sufficed to note that Goetz bases objection to Plantinga on the understanding
that he has the incorrect starting point for inductive reasoning concerning properly basic beliefs.
Both Plantinga and Goetz are in agreement that there are such things as properly basic beliefs, and
that classical foundationalist provides the incorrect criteria for their discovery. However, Goetz
objects to Plantingas proposed methodology and argues that before one can have any
understanding of beliefs as external to oneself as belief in God, one must first possess beliefs
concerning ones own self. Accordingly, argues Goetz, the only properly basic beliefs are internal
ones concerning the rational agent who is doing the rational calculus concerning belief.
Thus, Goetzs objection to Plantinga should be seen as an objection not to Plantingas
Reformed epistemology, but rather to the externalist epistemology upon which it is based.
Therefore, Goetzs objection belongs in the broader debate between internalist and externalist
conceptions of foundationalism.
Robbins Objection
The second of the two objections to Plantingas proposed Reformed epistemology is offered
by J. Wesley Robbins and focuses its attack on an exposed ambiguity in Plantingas response to the
second objection to Reformed epistemology considered above.
Robbins thesis is that Plantinga, despite all of his talk about properly basic beliefs, has
given up on philosophical foundationalism.36 Why does Robbins hold this to be the case? As was
shown above, in responding to the second objection Plantinga argues for an inductive process for
the rational formation of criteria concerning whether or not a belief is properly basic. In this appeal,
Plantinga insists that one must begin the process by collecting a relevant set of examples of
intuitively properly basic beliefs and adds that there is no reason to assume that the collected set of
examples be the same across different communities. In other words, the relevant set of examples to
be used in the inductive method of determining criteria for properly basic beliefs will be communally
relative.
As Robbins notes, this is a gross error in Plantingas Reformed epistemology! For, it seems
that Plantinga has given up on the idea that, for example, belief in God is naturally identifiable as
epistemologically privileged independently of the fact that member of the theistic community
typically accept specific forms of this belief from one another without question in certain
circumstances.37 Furthermore, if this, or any other belief, is identifiable as epistemologically
privileged only in connection with the practices of a group of people, then it does not have its
epistemic value independently of other beliefs at all.38 Thus, Plantinga admission that the set of
examples used in inductive reasoning concerning the criteria for identifying properly basic beliefs
completely undermines his proposed commitment to foundationalism.
Accordingly, Robbins contends that Plantingas Reformed epistemology should be
considered a from of epistemological behaviourism and not a form of foundationalism.
Conclusions Concerning Goetz and Robbins

If, as argued, Goetzs objection is really a broader objection concerning the


internalist/externalist debate within foundationalism, and Robbins is correct in his argument that
Plantingas Reformed epistemology is in fact not a version of foundationalism but rather a version
of epistemological behaviourism, then one should considered the objection by Robbins to be the
more damning of the two. For, if Robbins is correct, and I believe he is, that Plantinga is not
espousing a version of foundationalism at all, then Goetzs objection mistakes the actual nature of
Plantingas position and does not apply at all.
Concluding Remarks
What conclusions are we to draw from the above articulation of Plantingas position and a
consideration of the objections to it by Goetz and Robbins? Three things I believe.
First, Plantingas objection to classical foundationalism is indeed successful. Goetz and
Robbins both agree that Plantinga successfully demonstrates the internal incoherence of classical
foundationalism and that, as a result, it should be abandoned as the method by which one develops
criteria for the identification of properly basic beliefs.
Second, there are indeed successful replies to the evidentialist objection to theistic belief in
God. Whether one turns to natural theology and argues that the evidence is sufficiently justificatory
for belief in God, or holds that belief in God is properly basic and thus avoids the evidentialist
objection altogether, there are plausible responses to the objection. Any evidentialist, therefore, who
continues to argue that theistic belief in God is irrational, unreasonable, or intellectually irresponsible
is dogmatically retaining a bias against theistic belief and is playing, so to speak, with a stacked deck.
Finally, if Robbins argument that Plantinga is espousing a form of epistemological
behaviourism rather than a form of foundationalism is right, then it seems that the epistemological
nature of belief in God sits in rather troubling waters. Robbins draws the same conclusion at the
end of his paper and writes:
If I am right, the epistemologically precarious place that belief in God occupies in our
culture is not due, even in part, to intellectual imperialism on the part of critics who make
use of an indefensible philosophical principle of epistemic privilege. It is due, rather, to the
fact that belief in God just does not hang together very well with so many of the other things
that we have come to believe about the world and about ourselves.39
I do not believe that this conclusion necessitates the seeming epistemological skepticism concerning
belief in God to which Robbins seems to move with the close of his claim. Rather, I simply take it
that there is still a great deal of epistemological work to be done with concern to belief in God.
1

Plantinga, Reason and Belief In God, p. 103.


Quinn, Epistemology in Philosophy of Religion, p. 515.
3
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Rational?, p. 8.
4
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 41.
5
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 42.
6
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Rational?, p. 7.
7
Plantinga, Reason and Belief In God, p. 104.
8
Plantinga, Reason and Belief In God, p. 105.
9
Plantinga, Reason and Belief In God, p. 106.
10
Plantinga, Reason and Belief In God, p. 106.
2

11

Plantinga, Rationality and Religious Belief, p. 285.


Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 42.
13
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 241.
14
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 42.
15
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 43.
16
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 44.
17
Plantinga, Reason and Belief in God, p. 132.
18
Plantinga, Reason and Belief in God, p. 134.
19
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Rational?, p. 16.
20
Put more formally the notion of incorrigibility is as follows: p is incorrigible for S at t iff there is
no possible world in which S mistakenly believes p at t and no possible world in which S mistakenly
believes not-p at t. In Plantinga, Is Belief in God Rational?, p. 16.
21
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 44.
22
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 243.
23
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 44.
24
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 44.
25
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 44.
26
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 46.
27
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 46.
28
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 48.
29
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 48.
30
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 50.
31
Plantinga, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 50.
32
Goetz, Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic, p. 475.
33
Goetz, Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic, p. 475.
34
Goetz, Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic, p. 481. Emphasis added.
35
Goetz, Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic, p. 484.
36
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 246.
37
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 246.
38
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 246.
39
Robbins, Is Belief in God Properly Basic?, p. 247.
12

Works Cited
Goetz, Stuart C. Belief in God Is Not Properly Basic. Religious Studies, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Dec. 1983):
p. 475-484.
Plantinga, Alvin. Is Belief in God Properly Basic? Nos, Vol. 15, No. 1 (1981): p. 41-51.
______. Is Belief in God Rational? In Rationality and Religious Belief. Edited by C.F. Delaney (Notre
Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979): p. 7-27.
______. Rationality and Religious Belief in Contemporary Philosophy of Religion, edited by Steven
Cahn and David Shatz (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).

10

______. Reason and Belief In God. In The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader. Edited by
James F. Sennett (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998): p. 102-161.
Quinn, Philip L. Epistemology in Philosophy of Religion. In The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology.
Edited by Paul K. Moser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002): p. 513-538.
Robbins, J. Wesley. Is Belief in God Properly Basic? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion,
Vol. 14, No. 4 (1983): p. 241-248