International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

, Volume 76, Issue 3, pp 243–258 | Cite as

Evolutionary debunking arguments against theism, reconsidered

  • Jonathan JongEmail author
  • Aku Visala


Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) against religious beliefs move from the claim that religious beliefs are caused by off-track processes to the conclusion that said religious beliefs are unjustified and/or false. Prima facie, EDAs commit the genetic fallacy, unduly conflating the context of discovery and the context of justification. In this paper, we first consider whether EDAs necessarily commit the genetic fallacy, and if not, whether modified EDAs (e.g., those that posit falsehood-tracking or perniciously deceptive belief-forming mechanisms) provide successful arguments against theism. Then, we critically evaluate more recent attempts to argue that a more promiscuous evolutionary scepticism renders religious belief unjustified because, unlike commonsense and scientific beliefs, religious beliefs have no way out of such scepticism.


Evolutionary debunking Religion Cognitive science of religion Epistemology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary AnthropologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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