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Warranted Christian Belief
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4

Rationality

 

We have seen that the relevant de jure question—the question whether Christian belief is justified, or rational, or reasonable, or intellectually respectable—can’t be the question of justification strictly so called. That is, it can’t be the Lockean, deontological question whether Christian believers are or can be epistemically responsible, within their epistemic rights, flouting no epistemic duties, in believing as they do. That question, we saw, is much too easy to answer: obviously, a believer—even an intelligent, well-educated, contemporary believer who has heard and considered all the objections—can be justified in this original sense. We saw also that there are analogically extended senses of the term ‘justification’; but none of them is such that it is clear that a Christian believer can’t be justified, in that sense, in holding Christian belief. Believers may be mistaken; they may be deluded; they may be foolish; they may be insufficiently critical (in a way that doesn’t involve blameworthiness); but there is no reason to think either that they are inevitably derelict in their epistemic duties or that they are unjustified in one of those analogical extensions of the term.

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