Of Generic Gods and Generic Men: The Limits of Armchair Philosophy of Religion

Lydia McGrew


Thomas Crisp has attempted to revive something akin to Alvin Plantinga’s Principle of Dwindling Probabilities to argue that the historical case for the resurrection of Jesus does not make the posterior probability of the resurrection very high. I argue that Crisp’s argument fails because he is attempting to evaluate a concrete argument in an a priori manner. I show that the same moves he uses would be absurd in other contexts, as applied both to our acquaintance with human beings and to evidence for divine intervention. Crisp’s attempt to relate the evidence for a specific act of God such as the resurrection to generic theism, thereby creating skepticism about the power of the evidence, is symptomatic of a larger problem in the philosophy of religion which I dub “separationism” and which has characterized the work of both advocates of classical apologetics and philosophers of science.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12978/jat.2018-6.112400120222a


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The Journal of Analytic Theology is a publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame.

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