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On Naturalness, Innateness, and God-beliefs: A Reply to Shook

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Shook (2017) argues that if god-beliefs are “innate,” one is obligated to be skeptical about them by virtue of their mutually incompatible plurality and nativist origin. Second, Shook suggests that even if god-beliefs are not innate, it is still epistemically vicious to believe in gods. Shook also raises concerns about using theology to motivate or interpret scientific inquiry. This response essay clarifies the character of the theories offered in the cognitive science of religion (CSR), including rejecting that innateness of god-beliefs is a common view. Shook’s primary claims are then evaluated with the conclusion that they are not adequately argued or substantiated.

Affiliations: 1: Fuller Theological Seminary 180 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena, ca 91104


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