Saturday, December 30, 2006

Alvin Plantinga says ...

Among our chief intellectual obligations is that of believing a proposition that is not certain (i.e., either self-evident or incorrigible) only on the evidential basis of propositions that are certain. What I argued, in essence, is that from this point of view belief in other minds and belief in God are on an epistemological par. In neither case are there cogent arguments of the sort required; hence if the absence of such arguments in the theistic case demonstrates irrationality, the same goes for belief in other minds. If you flout epistemic duty in accepting one, then you flout it just as surely in accepting the other; hence if the former [belief in God] is irrational, so is the latter [belief in other minds beyond mine]. But clearly the latter isn't irrational; this version of the evidentialist objection to theistic belief, therefore is a failure.

Alvin Plantinga - "God and Other Minds", Preface to 1990 edition (emphasis mine)
Which is pretty much what I was saying. The difference is that Alvin Plantinga backs this up with 260 pages of substantial logic and philosophy of religion.