There is no sensus divinitatis

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Abstract

Inspired by Alvin Plantinga, many philosophers of religion accept the existence of a sensus divinitatis, a cognitive mechanism that produces religious beliefs. In this paper I will argue that there are no good reasons to accept the existence of a sensus divinitatis and hence its existence should not be affirmed. Plantinga gives two arguments for its existence, one empirical and one from the nature of God. I will argue that the first argument fails because God s nature makes it more likely that he lets himself be known through other means. In order to criticize the second argument I rely on recent empirical data on religious cognition and argue that it does not lend support to accepting the existence of a sensus divinitatis or a similar cognitive mechanism.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)24-40
JournalJournal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
Volume15
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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