Masters Thesis

The cognitive science of religion: a case for atheism

The cognitive science of religion (CSR) has risen to prominence in the 21st Century as the latest in the long history of natural explanations for religious belief. It is, however, unique in at least two ways: it is well supported empirically, and it explains and predicts the broad contours of the universal phenomenon of religious thought and behavior, including its most counter-intuitive aspects. These unique features create fresh insight into certain contentious questions within the epistemology of religion. This paper focuses specifically on the CSR’s epistemic significance for the rational justification of theism, and defends the view that CSR's findings significantly diminish this justification.