Does Religious Belief Infect Philosophical Analysis?
Religion, Brain & Behavior, Forthcoming
18 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 16, 2014
One popular conception of natural theology holds that certain purely rational arguments are insulated from empirical inquiry and independently establish conclusions that provide evidence, justification, or proof of God’s existence. Yet, some raise suspicions that philosophers and theologians’ personal religious beliefs inappropriately affect these kinds of arguments. I present an experimental test of whether philosophers and theologians’ argument analysis is influenced by religious commitments. The empirical findings suggest religious belief affects philosophical analysis and offer a challenge to theists and atheists, alike: reevaluate the scope of natural theology’s conclusions or acknowledge and begin to address the influence of religious belief.
Keywords: intuition, religion, religious belief, ontological argument, modal ontological argument
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