Why do Christian philosophers of religion believe?

Helen De Cruz writes (via Justin Schieber on Facebook):

For several authors in Clark’s edited collection* (including Plantinga), the reasons for belief can be surmised as something like this “I’ve been brought up religiously. I’ve always liked religion. I like going to church, and the bible inspires me. I’ve had mentors who were Christian philosophers that were very influential in my formative years and that made me think the position is philosophically defensible. And when I walk in nature I do sometimes have the sense that something like the God I was brought up to believe in exists. To make this all philosophically work, I do find I contort myself with all sorts of weird analogies and intuitions that nobody finds remotely plausible, unless they are more committed to theism than to atheism. There are some arguments I think are strong, like the cosmological argument, but they seem to wither in the face of the formidable problem of evil. Now, I can’t respond to this problem without sounding very insensitive to those who suffer, but I’ll do it anyway, by treating suffering mainly as a philosophical puzzle.”

In my experience, this describes virtually all theistic philosophers of religion. There are exceptions, like Peter van Inwagen—if only van Inwagen’s arguments didn’t suck.

  • MNb

    At least WLC is honest – because he is infected by the Holy Spirit. I suspect that applies to all religious philosophers who believe (Herman Philipse has done philosophy of religion but is an atheist).

  • John Jagger

    They believe for the same reason all of humanity throughout history does..its obvious. Athesists seem to be eternally puzzled about this as if 6 people in all of the world believe in God.

    Yoou would think all of us normal people would be the ones asking why herion addicts, death metal bands, serial killers, porn producers, meth cookers, arrogant socially awkward loners, potheads, and basement dwelling daddy hating liberals cannot see what everyone sees in all of 3 seconds….but the truth is…that is also obvious.

    You know, you can pretend all the live long day that its because you’re the only wise beings in all of history or whatever you tell yourself that helps dull the overwhelming truth that no one would feel comfortable with you even watching their cat…..but the world is looking at you through the monkey cage bars, flinging dung around while you so proudly spell out your self refuting, magical multiverse in crayon–or whatever comic book reasoning you believe these days, and we cant help but pity you and your daily ritual of patting each other on the back as if you can somehow talk your pathological worldview into existence.
    Well tomorrows another day. There is always the chance that the random mindless particles in your brain can arrange themselves like normal brains, providing your material mind with new truths that you have no choice in believing.

    • alfaretta

      As I’m sure you’re well aware, the majority of humanity does not believe in the Christian god.

    • Steven Carr

      Gosh, are there really so many believers in God?

      And so few atheists?

      How come the world is in such a bad way?

      As always, it is the vast majority spoiling things for us small minority.

  • Y. A. Warren

    I am an a-theist who believes very firmly in many physical manifestations of awe-inspiring (sacred) energy (spirit).

  • Luke Breuer

    1. What book is this, precisely?
    2. How many of the authors does the quoted text sample?
    3. How good a sampling is “In my experience”?

  • Y. A. Warren

    It was pointed out to me by a neurologist that had been religiously schooled for sixteen years, that the problem with attempting to manage much of the physical pain in patients is that the patients take pain personally. Isn’t this the full focus of both reincarnation and the OT interpretations by “Christians,” that humans take pain personally?

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