He stated that one only has the epistemic right to accept the premise if one understands the nested modal operators, and that if one understands them within the system S5—without which the argument fails—then one understands that "possibly necessarily" is in essence the same as "necessarily". These ideas transformed how those within philosophy and the surrounding culture understood theism – the belief in a divine reality or god. The belief in a god or gods is most plausibly classified as level IV. Thank you for your comment. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015. This was not an entirely original argument, having roots that trace back to the private correspondence of Charles Darwin himself. Alvin Plantinga Belief in God is the heart and center of the Christian religion —as it is of Judaism and Islam. Because sin, in the Christian worldview, represents a corruption of one’s whole being, atheism is associated with moral as well as cognitive defects. 1994. rev. At the end of 11th grade, Plantinga's father instructed Plantinga to skip his last year of high school and immediately enroll in college. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy concluded, “Plantinga’s argument does not show what he claims that it shows.”. Each human has a “strong propensity or inclination towar… When attempting, as Plantinga is, to establish an epistemological system, it is essential to avoid glossing over these important differences. He has trained many prominent philosophers working in metaphysics and epistemology including Michael Bergmann at Purdue and Michael Rea at Notre Dame, and Trenton Merricks working at University of Virginia. Even so, for the neophyte to philosophy, it demands slow and multiple reads in some sections, and certainly tweaks the brain. Making the contrary assumption—that there is, in fact, a relatively strong correlation between truth and survival—if human belief-forming apparatus evolved giving a survival advantage, then it ought to yield truth since true beliefs confer a survival advantage. He can alter logic at will. Thus, since human cognitive faculties are tuned to survival rather than truth in the naturalism-evolution model, there is reason to doubt the veracity of the products of those same faculties, including naturalism and evolution themselves. Adopting a more restricted definition of omnipotence was a strategically wise move, in that it allowed Plantinga to avoid the contradiction that Mackie’s argument successfully targeted. Perhaps the most famous presentation of the logical problem of evil is that offered by the philosopher J. L. Mackie, who defined omnipotence as being able to do anything. I feel obliged to emphasize that I think Plantinga has made valuable contributions. Even if it is impossible to change properly basic beliefs through sheer argumentation, that doesn’t mean it would be impossible to influence someone’s properly basic beliefs by getting them to undergo certain experiences, to participate in a certain way of life, etc. Plantinga, Alvin. In the book, he develops two models for such beliefs, the "A/C" (Aquinas/Calvin) model, and the "Extended A/C" model. [25] A year later, in 1955, he transferred to Yale University where he received his PhD in 1958.[26]. [34][35] Plantinga has also developed a more comprehensive epistemological account of the nature of warrant which allows for the existence of God as a basic belief. [30] The fellowship includes an annual lecture by the current Plantinga Fellow.[31]. I beg to differ. While there are a few updates, is the lay version of WCB. If we’re not talking about a closed system, then there must be some external influence, meaning that God is not omnipotent. Again, thanks for your comment. B. [62], The argument has received favorable notice from Thomas Nagel[63] and William Lane Craig,[64] but has also been criticized as seriously flawed, for example, by Elliott Sober.[65][66]. Indeed, Plantinga holds that even without mystical visions or any trace of empirical evidence, the belief in God, if strong enough, can legitimately overrule contrary evidence and arguments. The Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga, age 84, was awarded the 2017 Templeton Prize, along with its jackpot of $1.4 million. [4], A prominent Christian philosopher, Plantinga served as president of the Society of Christian Philosophers from 1983 to 1986. At least that must be the case if the world is a closed system, consisting initially of only a perfect god and subsequently the creations of that perfect god. He retired from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and returned to Calvin University, where he serves as the first holder of the William Harry Jellema Chair in Philosophy. Plantinga calls his defense of religion reformed epistemology, in honor of Calvinist reformers. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God. More specifically, our conclusions must be caused in a reliable manner by pertinent aspects of reality. That’s fine. Various claims plausibly labeled ‘postmodern’ do indeed conflict with Christian belief. The theologian Glenn Peoples replies that the sensus divinitatis is a gift from God. I’m not sure that comes through in this post as clearly as I intended. 3rd ed. Even Plantinga’s notion of “proper functioning” seems to entail as much. Alvin Plantinga Biography, Alvin Plantinga (b. [44] In the book, Plantinga argues specifically that the theories of what he calls "warrant"-what many others have called justification (Plantinga draws out a difference: justification is a property of a person holding a belief while warrant is a property of a belief)—put forth by these epistemologists have systematically failed to capture in full what is required for knowledge. Alvin Carl Plantinga (born November 15, 1932) is analytic philosopher, known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics and apologetics. epistemology that holds that warrant is dependent on natural faculties—is best supported by supernaturalist metaphysics—in this case, the belief in a creator God or designer who has laid out a design plan that includes cognitive faculties conducive to attaining knowledge.[49]. This undercurrent is properly basic. So the acceptability of axioms for modal logic depends on which of these uses we have in mind."[61]. The prize is typically awarded to people who are credited with bridging the gap between religion and science. Plantinga has even used this same phrasing, at least in casual speech, saying that an omnipotent god can do anything. According to Reformed epistemology, belief in God can be rational and justified even without arguments or evidence for the existence of God. It’s filtered, revised, and sometimes rejected. While I would agree with you that we humans have some innate proclivities toward religious belief, as for example our tendency to falsely infer agency (HAAD), and while any such proclivities could reasonably be classified as basic, they do not qualify as properly basic according to the strict criteria that I have adopted. The Magazine Basic Theme by bavotasan.com. With Replies by Alvin Plantinga. Below are short, animated videos on philosopher Alvin Plantinga's most important contributions to the philosophy of religion. Thanks for the comment, Berel Dov. But, again, they do so based on the watered-down definition of omnipotence, as opposed to the full-throated definition intended by Mackie and most Christians. Basic beliefs are not necessarily groundless, as Plantinga points out, but can have grounds for their justification and therefore be properly basic. His father, Cornelius, was then a philosophy graduate student at the University of Michigan. Knowledge and Christian Belief. From 1963 to 1982, Plantinga taught at Calvin University before accepting an appointment as the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. [11][19] His brother Terrell worked for CBS News. [citation needed], Plantinga was born on November 15, 1932, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Cornelius A. Plantinga (1908–1994) and Lettie G. Bossenbroek (1908–2007). [50], Plantinga seeks to defend this view of proper function against alternative views of proper function proposed by other philosophers which he groups together as "naturalistic", including the "functional generalization" view of John Pollock, the evolutionary/etiological account provided by Ruth Millikan, and a dispositional view held by John Bigelow and Robert Pargetter. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world. Alvin Carl Plantinga[a] (born 1932) is an American analytic philosopher who works primarily in the fields of philosophy of religion, epistemology (particularly on issues involving epistemic justification), and logic. [18] Alvin Plantinga is not only known in philosophical circles for his reformed epistemology but also for his evolutionary argument against naturalism. There are, as I see it, five levels of basicality. As such, evolutionary theory feeds into an argument that seeks to undermine philosophical naturalism, the philosophical worldview held by most atheists. The philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued persuasively that naturalism cannot even be rationally affirmed. In 1963, he accepted a teaching job at Calvin University, where he replaced the retiring Jellema. He developed this argument in two different fashions: firstly, in God and Other Minds (1967), by drawing an equivalence between the teleological argument and the common sense view that people have of other minds existing by analogy with their own minds. All Rights Reserved. If we accept belief in God as rational on the grounds which you have presented, how do we also know that this belief is true? The claim these apologists make is that, on a physicalist’s view of the world, our brains consist of fizzing chemicals and electrical surges, like dumb machines; and a dumb machine can’t be trusted to perform genuine reasoning. More specifically, Plantinga argues that belief in God is properly basic, and due to a religious externalist epistemology, he claims belief in God could be justified independently of evidence. 1932) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.