Evolutionary debunking arguments against theism, reconsidered

Jonathan Jong, Aku Visala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) against religious beliefs move from the claim that religious beliefs are caused by off-track processes to the conclusion that said religious beliefs are unjustified and/or false. Prima facie, EDAs commit the genetic fallacy, unduly conflating the context of discovery and the context of justification. In this paper, we first consider whether EDAs necessarily commit the genetic fallacy, and if not, whether modified EDAs (e.g., those that posit falsehood-tracking or perniciously deceptive belief-forming mechanisms) provide successful arguments against theism. Then, we critically evaluate more recent attempts to argue that a more promiscuous evolutionary scepticism renders religious belief unjustified because, unlike commonsense and scientific beliefs, religious beliefs have no way out of such scepticism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243–258
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Issue number3
Early online date11 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive science of religion
  • Epistemology
  • Evolutionary debunking
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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