Reformed Epistemology and the Epistemic Status of Religious Belief
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I discuss the reformed epistemologist and his claim that one is within one’s epistemic rights in believing in God without any evidence or argument. The basis for this claim hinges on a parity argument that compares one’s perceptual experiences with religious experiences. It is argued by the reformed epistemologist that in the same way that perceptual experience is justified without evidence, so too are religious experiences. If the parity argument is successful, then belief in God can be seen as properly basic. It is this controversial claim, then, that will be the focus of my study. My research will begin with an overview of key ideas within reformed epistemology followed by a three major objections. Of the three objections presented, I will be primarily concerned with the last objection which deals with defeaters of religious belief. I will look at whether a belief retains its basicality once a defeater-defeater is presented. I will suggest that this objection must be defeated in order for reformed epistemology to be of any consequence.