Born idolaters: The limits of the philosophical implications of the cognitive science of religion

Jonathan Jong, Christopher Kavanagh, Aku Visala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, theoretical and empirical work done under the rubric of the cognitive science of religion (CSR) have led many to conclude that religion (or, at least, some aspects thereof) is "natural". By this, it is meant that human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural agents, and that their beliefs about these agents are constrained in various ways. The details about how and why these predispositions and cognitive constraints developed and evolved are still largely unknown, though there is enough of a theoretical consensus in CSR for philosophers to have begun reflecting on the implications of CSR for religious belief. In particular, much philosophical work has been done on the implications of CSR for theism, on both sides of the debate. On one hand, CSR might contribute to defeating particular arguments for theism, or indeed theism altogether; on the other hand, CSR might provide support for specific theological views. In this paper, we argue that the CSR is largely irrelevant for classical theism, and in particular that the "naturalness hypothesis" is much less congenial to theism than some have previously argued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-266
Number of pages23
JournalNeue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cognitive Science of Religion
Theism
Naturalness
Philosopher
Religious Beliefs
Supernatural
Religion
Human Being
Cognitive Constraints
Predisposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy

Cite this

Born idolaters : The limits of the philosophical implications of the cognitive science of religion. / Jong, Jonathan; Kavanagh, Christopher; Visala, Aku.

In: Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie, Vol. 57, No. 2, 01.06.2015, p. 244-266.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9e305b81e54c47d381312d1a8e1a6e2f,
title = "Born idolaters: The limits of the philosophical implications of the cognitive science of religion",
abstract = "In recent years, theoretical and empirical work done under the rubric of the cognitive science of religion (CSR) have led many to conclude that religion (or, at least, some aspects thereof) is {"}natural{"}. By this, it is meant that human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural agents, and that their beliefs about these agents are constrained in various ways. The details about how and why these predispositions and cognitive constraints developed and evolved are still largely unknown, though there is enough of a theoretical consensus in CSR for philosophers to have begun reflecting on the implications of CSR for religious belief. In particular, much philosophical work has been done on the implications of CSR for theism, on both sides of the debate. On one hand, CSR might contribute to defeating particular arguments for theism, or indeed theism altogether; on the other hand, CSR might provide support for specific theological views. In this paper, we argue that the CSR is largely irrelevant for classical theism, and in particular that the {"}naturalness hypothesis{"} is much less congenial to theism than some have previously argued.",
author = "Jonathan Jong and Christopher Kavanagh and Aku Visala",
year = "2015",
month = "6",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1515/nzsth-2015-0012",
language = "English",
volume = "57",
pages = "244--266",
journal = "Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie",
issn = "0028-3517",
publisher = "Walter de Gruyter GmbH",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Born idolaters

T2 - The limits of the philosophical implications of the cognitive science of religion

AU - Jong, Jonathan

AU - Kavanagh, Christopher

AU - Visala, Aku

PY - 2015/6/1

Y1 - 2015/6/1

N2 - In recent years, theoretical and empirical work done under the rubric of the cognitive science of religion (CSR) have led many to conclude that religion (or, at least, some aspects thereof) is "natural". By this, it is meant that human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural agents, and that their beliefs about these agents are constrained in various ways. The details about how and why these predispositions and cognitive constraints developed and evolved are still largely unknown, though there is enough of a theoretical consensus in CSR for philosophers to have begun reflecting on the implications of CSR for religious belief. In particular, much philosophical work has been done on the implications of CSR for theism, on both sides of the debate. On one hand, CSR might contribute to defeating particular arguments for theism, or indeed theism altogether; on the other hand, CSR might provide support for specific theological views. In this paper, we argue that the CSR is largely irrelevant for classical theism, and in particular that the "naturalness hypothesis" is much less congenial to theism than some have previously argued.

AB - In recent years, theoretical and empirical work done under the rubric of the cognitive science of religion (CSR) have led many to conclude that religion (or, at least, some aspects thereof) is "natural". By this, it is meant that human beings are predisposed to believe in supernatural agents, and that their beliefs about these agents are constrained in various ways. The details about how and why these predispositions and cognitive constraints developed and evolved are still largely unknown, though there is enough of a theoretical consensus in CSR for philosophers to have begun reflecting on the implications of CSR for religious belief. In particular, much philosophical work has been done on the implications of CSR for theism, on both sides of the debate. On one hand, CSR might contribute to defeating particular arguments for theism, or indeed theism altogether; on the other hand, CSR might provide support for specific theological views. In this paper, we argue that the CSR is largely irrelevant for classical theism, and in particular that the "naturalness hypothesis" is much less congenial to theism than some have previously argued.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84931067417&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1515/nzsth-2015-0012

DO - 10.1515/nzsth-2015-0012

M3 - Article

VL - 57

SP - 244

EP - 266

JO - Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie

JF - Neue Zeitschrift fur Systematische Theologie und Religionsphilosophie

SN - 0028-3517

IS - 2

ER -