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Philosophia Christi

Volume 20, Issue 1, 2018

Symposium on Dualism and Physicalism

Bryan Frances
Pages 289-297

The Epistemology of Real-World Religious Disagreement without Peers

When you learn that a large body of highly intelligent, fair-minded, reasonable, and relatively unbiased thinkers disagree with you, does that give you good reason to think you’re wrong? Should you think, “Wait a minute. Maybe I’ve missed something here”? Should you at least drastically reduce your confidence? There is a general epistemological problem here regarding controversial beliefs, one that has nothing especially to do with religious belief. I argue that applying this discussion to religion transforms the problem in unexpected and interesting ways, and that the religious believer is often epistemically reasonable in sticking with her controversial belief.

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