I’m late to this party, but I’ll throw my two cents around as I can…
No clue! I get that many go up against YEC as it is a vocal and public component to conservative Christianity that makes headlines. Thus, the public enemy to engage is a YEC and it is easy to assume that most any Christian’s default position is YEC.
Jerry Coyne has a category of “sophisticated theologian” that he uses for people like Plantinga. He is not friendly toward the “sophisticated” as well. He is definitely more than a YEC atheist. In fact, he also entertains the idea with more seriousness than most that Jesus was NOT a real person. Search around on his site of historicity of Jesus and sophisticated theology to see how much further Coyne goes than YEC atheism.
Hmmm… but via parity shouldn’t it be our burden to prove absolutely? I’m not comfortable with this line of thinking…
Yes, but in what world is a properly basic belief about God fool proof? In fact, one of the problems I have with Plantinga’s argument is that it is unclear to me how one can cross check the religious properly basic belief. When Plantinga uses examples such as memory, perception, other minds as examples of properly basic beliefs, is seems apparent that we can cross check the basic beliefs for accuracy. I am warranted in my memory that I played backgammon with a friend last night as the belief was delivered according to Plantinga’s scheme – yet, I can easily cross-check that belief against others to see if it is true that I played backgammon with my friend last night and didn’t lucidly dream it. I am unsure how Plantinga accomplishes this with properly basic religious beliefs, he seems to give them a certain status above other properly basic beliefs.
A Christian who is a philosopher that takes umbrage with Plantinga’s properly basic model is Richard Swinburne (Oxford) – back in the day, he and Plantinga had lively exchanges as to religious epistemology. Moreover, Plantinga is first a metaphyscian and Swinburne is a philosopher of science.
Welcome to Peaceful Science!
The book to read in terms of applying this to Christianity is:
Correct, but those are necessary to get conversations/arguments started and require a minimum of metaphysical commitment on both interlocutors’ conscious. A properly basic belief in God, particularly the Christian God, seems to load the properly basic deck metaphysically. The axioms of inductive/deductive inference are the sorts of things that all people can take as properly basic in the sense that there really is no way to have dialogue without them. I am suspect of God being on this same footing… As Josh is fond of saying, God reveals himself to us through the person of Jesus of Nazareth. If no one comes to the Father except through Jesus, then in what way is that properly basic?
But less so than metaphysics!
This is a really interesting concept in theology regarding the hiddenness of God that I think cuts both ways – How does @r_speir know that God is not hiding from him even as he is wrestling with God’s Word on these issues? Read about Jacob wrestling with God/Angel in the desert or the book of Job to see how even believers need to be humble in their struggles…
I was more playing with the relationship between “philosopher” and “surfer” as I am a philosopher who teaches in Southern California and happens to surf when I’m not grading or herding children at the house.
But again, I can calibrate my belief regarding other minds against other beliefs in a way that is unclear to me how Plantinga’s properly basic belief in God is able to be calibrated.
Holy Smokes you have thought through this. I can’t promise I’ll carefully read all you’ve written, but I feel obligated to skim it as I need to find out if I agree with your above “edit”!