At Prosblogion , Helen De Cruz has presented a statistical analysis on the question of whether philosophers of religion take religious arguments more seriously than other philosophers. As one would expect, they do. Cruz gave eight arguments against theism and asked participants to rate them, ranging from very strong to very weak. Her interest was whether or not religious commitments affected one’s assessment of these arguments:

At first, I thought that my survey showed mainly effects of confirmation bias (i.e., theists rate arguments for theism higher, atheists rate arguments against theism higher), but thanks to Robert’s more fine-grained analysis of individual argument I can see now that PoR does make a difference in how a lot of these arguments are assessed (the main predictor is still religious belief though, but controlling for this, PoR makes a difference). If PoRs rate the hiddenness argument stronger than the general philosophical population, does that say anything about hiddenness as a problem for theism? Or, conversely, since PoRs are not as impressed with the argument from parsimony, should the (non-PoR) atheist look for other reasons to support her beliefs (I’m saying this in particular because parsimony came out as a favorite alongside the argument from evil).

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Articles by Mark Misulia

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