University of Pretoria
LCC International University
  •  360
    Undermining the axiological solution to divine hiddenness
    with Perry Hendricks
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 86 (1): 3-15. 2019.
    Lougheed argues that a possible solution to the problem of divine hiddenness is that God hides in order to increase the axiological value of the world. In a world where God exists, the goods associated with theism necessarily obtain. But Lougheed also claims that in such a world it’s possible to experience the goods of atheism, even if they don’t actually obtain. This is what makes a world with a hidden God more valuable than a world where God is unhidden, and also more valuable than an atheisti…Read more
  •  313
    Indirect Epistemic Reasons and Religious Belief
    Religious Studies 53 (2): 151-169. 2017.
    If believing P will result in epistemically good outcomes, does this generate an epistemic reason to believe P, or just a pragmatic reason? Conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reasons seems to lead to absurdity, e.g. by allowing that someone can rationally hold beliefs that conflict with her assessment of her evidence’s probative force. We explain how this and other intuitively unwelcome results can be avoided. We also suggest a positive case for conceiving of such reasons as epistemic reaso…Read more
  •  128
    On the Axiology of a Hidden God
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (4): 79-95. 2018.
    The axiological question in the philosophy of religion is the question of what impact, if any, God’s existence does make to the axiological value of our world. It has recently been argued that we should prefer a theistic world where God is hidden to an atheistic world or a theistic world where God isn’t hidden. This is because in a hidden theistic world all of the theistic goods obtain in addition to the experience of atheistic goods. I complete this line of argument by showing that theistic goo…Read more
  •  64
    The Goals of Philosophy of Religion: A Reply to Ireneusz Zieminski
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (1): 187-199. 2019.
    In a recent article, Ireneusz Zieminski argues that the main goals of philosophy of religion are to define religion; assess the truth value of religion and; assess the rationality of a religious way of life. Zieminski shows that each of these goals are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. Hence, philosophy of religion leads to scepticism. He concludes that the conceptual tools philosophers of religion employ are best suited to study specific religious traditions, rather than religion more b…Read more
  •  61
    Religious Disagreement, Religious Experience, and the Evil God Hypothesis
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (1): 173-190. 2020.
    Conciliationism is the view that says when an agent who believes P becomes aware of an epistemic peer who believes not-P, that she encounters a defeater for her belief that P. Strong versions of conciliationism pose a sceptical threat to many, if not most, religious beliefs since religion is rife with peer disagreement. Elsewhere I argue that one way for a religious believer to avoid sceptical challenges posed by strong conciliationism is by appealing to the evidential import of religious experi…Read more
  •  43
    The axiological solution to divine hiddenness
    Ratio 31 (3): 331-341. 2018.
    Philosophers have recently wondered whether the value impact of the existence of God on the world would be positive, negative, or neutral. Thus far discussions have distinguished between the value God's impact would have overall, in certain respects, and/or for particular individuals. A commonality amongst the various positions that have been taken up is to focus on the goods and drawbacks associated with both theism and atheism. Goods associated with atheism include things like privacy, indepen…Read more
  •  43
    Either a ‘best world’ scenario is true or a ‘no best world’ scenario is true. In a ‘best world’ scenario, God actualizes a world that is unsurpassable. In a ‘no best world’ scenario, for any possible world God actualizes, God could have actualized a better world. A ‘no best world’ scenario precludes theism, so the theist should endorse a ‘best world’ scenario. However, a ‘best world’ scenario leads to the highly counter-intuitive conclusion of modal collapse: the position that nothing could have…Read more
  •  39
    Introduction: Puzzles Concerning Epistemic Autonomy
    In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. pp. 1-17. 2021.
    In this introduction we explore a number of puzzles that arise concerning epistemic autonomy, and introduce the sections and chapters of the book. There are four broad types of puzzles to be explored, corresponding to the four sections of the book. The first set of puzzles concerns the nature of epistemic autonomy. Here, questions arise such as what is epistemic autonomy? Is epistemic autonomy valuable? What are we epistemically autonomous about? The second set of puzzles concern epistemic pater…Read more
  •  34
    The Epistemic Value of Deep Disagreements
    Informal Logic 38 (2): 263-292. 2018.
    In the epistemology of disagreement literature an underdeveloped argument defending the claim that an agent need not conciliate when she becomes aware of epistemic peer disagreement is based on the idea that there are epistemic benefits to be gained from disagreement. Such benefits are unobtainable if an agent conciliates in the face of peer disagreement. I argue that there are good reasons to embrace this line of argument at least in inquiry-related contexts. In argumentation theory a deep disa…Read more
  •  31
    Anti-Theism, Pro-Theism, and Gratuitous Evil
    Philosophia Christi 21 (2): 355-369. 2019.
    Ebrahim Azadegan recently argues that personal anti-theism, the view that it’s rational for a particular individual to prefer that God not exist, is a form of gratuitous evil. He justifies this evil by arguing that the anti-theist is uniquely positioned to bargain, implore, and plea to God. I argue that Azadegan faces a paradox. Once the anti-theist recognizes that God plus anti-theism makes the world better, she should convert to pro-theism. But then there can be no reflective anti-theists who …Read more
  •  28
    This book presents an original discussion and analysis of epistemic peer disagreement. It reviews a wide range of cases from the literature, and extends the definition of epistemic peerhood with respect to the current one, to account for the actual variability found in real-world examples. The book offers a number of arguments supporting the variability in the nature and in the range of disagreements, and outlines the main benefits of disagreement among peers i.e. what the author calls the benef…Read more
  •  23
    Disagreement, Deep Time, and Progress in Philosophy
    International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 9 (4): 285-313. 2019.
    The epistemology of disagreement examines the question of how an agent ought to respond to awareness of epistemic peer disagreement about one of her beliefs. The literature on this topic, ironically enough, represents widespread disagreement about how we should respond to disagreement. I argue for the sceptical conclusion that the existence of widespread disagreement throughout the history of philosophy, and right up until the present day indicates that philosophers are highly unreliable at arri…Read more
  •  23
    Consider two epistemically possible worlds that are as similar as can be, except that atheism is true in one world and theism is true in the other world. Which world is it rational to prefer? I explore the strongest defence of the somewhat counterintuitive claim that it is rational to prefer the atheistic world. I also discuss the opposite conclusion, namely, that it’s rational to prefer the theistic world. Surprisingly, my conclusion is that it’s difficult to tell whether to prefer theism or at…Read more
  •  22
    Epistemic Autonomy (edited book)
    Routledge. 2021.
    This is the first book dedicated to the topic of epistemic autonomy. It features original essays from leading scholars that promise to significantly shape future debates in this emerging area of epistemology. While the nature of and value of autonomy has long been discussed in ethics and social and political philosophy, it remains an underexplored area of epistemology. The essays in this collection take up several interesting questions and approaches related to epistemic autonomy. Topics include…Read more
  •  20
    In a recent article in Sophia, Joshua Cockayne and Jack Warman defend a view they call supra-evidential atheistic fideism. This is the idea that considerations similar to William James’s defence of theistic belief can be used to justify atheistic belief. If an individual evaluates the evidence for atheism and theism as roughly the same, then she can rationally believe in atheism if her passions lean in that direction, provided the belief in atheism is forced, live and momentous. After outlining …Read more
  •  20
    Many religious believers do not appear to take the existence of epistemic peer disagreement as a serious challenge to the rationality of their religious beliefs. They seem to think they have different evidence for their religious beliefs and hence aren’t really epistemic peers with their opponents. One underexplored potential evidential asymmetry in religious disagreements is based on investigations of religious experience attempting to offer relevant evidence for religious claims in objective a…Read more
  •  20
    Metaphilosophical discussions about the philosophy of religion are increasingly common. In a recent article in Sophia, N.N. Trakakis advances the view that Christian Philosophy is closer to ideology than philosophy. This is because philosophy conducted in the Socratic tradition tends to emphasize values antithetical to religious faith such as independence of thought, rationality, empiricism, and doubt. A philosopher must be able to follow the arguments wherever they lead, something that the reli…Read more
  •  16
    Pro-Theism and the Added Value of Morally Good Agents
    Philosophia Christi 17 (1): 53-69. 2015.
    Pro-theism is the view that God’s existence would be good in that God’s existence increases the value of a world. Anti-theism is the view that God’s existence would decrease the value of a world. We develop and defend the morally good agent argument for pro-theism. The basic idea is that morally good agents tend to add value to states of affairs, and God, moral agent par excellence is no exception. Thus, we argue that the existence of God would be, on balance, a good thing and therefore somethin…Read more
  •  14
    The Axiology of Theism
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2019.
    The Axiology of Theism The existential question about God asks whether God exists, but the axiology of theism addresses the question of what value-impact, if any, God’s existence does have on our world and its inhabitants. There are two prominent answers to the axiological question about God. Pro-theism is the view that God’s … Continue reading The Axiology of Theism →
  •  13
    Are atheist worlds really the best?
    Religious Studies 1-14. forthcoming.
    Anti-theism is the view that God's existence would detract from the value of the world. A distinctive argument for anti-theism says that the very best atheist worlds are better than the best theist worlds. The reason for this is that it's possible to gain most or all of the benefits associated with theism in Godless worlds. For instance, worlds with a lesser god or several lesser gods can provide many of the benefits of theism without the associated disadvantages. While some work has been done t…Read more
  •  13
    Conciliationism is the view that an agent must revise her belief in a proposition when she becomes aware that there is an epistemic peer who disagrees with her about that proposition. If epistemic peers are anything less than strict cognitive and evidential equals, then even slight differences could explain away why the two parties disagree in the first place. But this strict notion of peerhood never obtains in many, if not most, of real-life cases disagreements between inquirers. One recent acc…Read more
  •  13
    Epistemic Paternalism, Open Group Inquiry, and Religious Knowledge
    Res Philosophica 98 (2): 261-281. 2021.
    Epistemic paternalism occurs when a decision is made for an agent which helps them arrive at the truth, though they didn’t consent to that decision. Common defenses of epistemic paternalism claim that it can help promote positive veritistic results. In other words, epistemic paternalism is often good for inquiry. I argue that there is often a better alternative available to epistemic paternalism in the form of what I call Open Group Inquiry. I then examine how Open Group Inquiry can be applied t…Read more
  •  12
    The Role of Idealized Cases in the Epistemology of Disagreement
    Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (2): 251-270. 2017.
  •  12
    The Epistemic Benefits of Worldview Disagreement
    Social Epistemology 35 (1): 85-98. 2020.
    In my recent book, The Epistemic Benefits of Disagreement, I develop a defense of non-conciliationism, but one that only applies in research contexts: Epistemic benefits are more likely in the offi...
  •  12