HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 2 (2021)

AGAINST ALVIN PLANTINGA’S REFORMED EPISTEMOLOGY: THE SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE FOR THE BELIEF IN GOD

Alfie A. Polistico, OSJ

 

Abstract:

The paper is a critique of Alvin Plantinga’s notion that belief in God is properly basic - evidence is not needed to justify such belief - in light of Thomas Aquinas’ religious epistemology. The latter’s epistemology proves that, while evidence is not a necessary condition for belief in God based on his Summa Theologica (henceforth, ST) since such belief is evidence itself from his De Veritate (henceforth, Dv), there is sufficient evidence that justifies such belief. First, I argue that Plantinga’s total rejection of evidence as a justification for belief in God renders such belief purely subjective. To rationally ground this purely subjective belief, Plantinga introduces the notion of justification-conferring conditions. Second, following Thomas Aquinas’ thought, Plantinga’s justification negates his claim that belief in God is properly basic because the said justification-conferring conditions seem to function as an evidence for belief in God. I will conclude the work by claiming that although evidence is not a necessary condition for belief in God, it is epistemically sufficient to justify the said belief.