Assessment of the View that it is Rational to Believe that there is a God
Rational: To be rational is to think logically and within reason. To
base your thoughts on evidence, and then use that evidence to come to
a "rational" conclusion.
Motivation: To be motivated to do or think something, normally the
motivation will be because it will benefit you in the long run.
Many philosophers use theses types of words when talking about whether
or not it is rational to believe in god. Pascal for instance thinks
that you should believe in God as you will gain more from it when you
pass away if he does exist, i.e. going to heaven, whereas if you don't
believe in God and it turns out he does in fact exists you will lose
more. This is often referred to as Pascal's wager and Pascal is a
prudentialist, which means believing in something because it's in your
Another argument for the belief in God is Fideism, this is where you
believe in God because it is absurd not to. You take a leap of faith,
e.g. if you wanted to jump from one cliff to another you would just
jump because you would believe that God would help you and not left
you fall, as appose to talking a bridge and only jumping half way.
Plantinga is another philosopher who believes it is rational to
believe in God, as he thinks that God is a belief that ends all other
beliefs, it cannot be justified by other beliefs and it is in its self
self-evident. Plantinga thinks that you can start with a belief or
convictions and then argue from them instead of always looking for
evidence to enable us to argue to conclusions. This theory can be
questioned as how can one say that belief in God is basic, when
another cannot claim that belief in voodoo or astrology is basic. It
is wrong to appeal to grounds that belief in God is basic since one
might claim that the Pumpkin belief, that it returns every Halloween
Kierkegaard thinks that reasons are irrelevant to religious faith and
that you should believe blindingly. Kierkegaard's whole point is that
this is to narrow conception of rationality; it's too limited to have
anything substantial to say abut religious belief. Again an argument
against this is that truth is an objective matter, my belief in God
can only be said to be true if and only if there is a God. Whether or
not there is a God is something that is independent of my believing or
not believing that there is a God.
These philosophers have all come up with substantial and...