It believe it on the basis of any other

It is essential to
appreciate the idea of noetic structure, in order to appropriately understand
what Plantinga refers to as “basic” in this context. Plantinga does this by
presenting the epistemological philosophy of classical foundationalism, that is
kept together by those of the Reformist objects, while defining what a noetic
structure is and how basic and non-basic beliefs interact with a noetic
structure. He describes the classical foundationalist view as a clarification
of knowledge which places commitments and compulsions on the knower with
respect to what they believe.

 

In his powerful 1980
essay “Reformed Objection to Natural
Theology” Alvin Plantinga creates a focus on the certain epistemological
philosophy of “classical foundationalism” along with its seeming faults and
achieves this through the perspective of Reformist Christian theologians Hermann
Bavinck and John Calvin. He starts off by introducing the beliefs of Bavinck
and Calvin on the epistemic perspective of Christians to agree on a belief in
God’s existence without having to provide to the types of arguments put forth
in natural theology. The Reformist theologians argue that by displaying
philosophical arguments for God’s existence, the natural theologian leaves
Christians inclined to the assumption that a strong belief in God can only come
from reasoning and endless argumentation rather than acceptance. In particular,
Calvin believed this to be a belief full of flaw and weakness and held that
Christians really had no need to use these arguments as the base of their
beliefs for God. Plantinga believes, “The reformers mean to say, fundamentally,
that a belief in God can properly be taken as basic. That is, a person is
entirely within his epistemic rights, entirely rational, in believing in God,
even if he has no argument for this belief and does not believe it on the basis
of any other beliefs he holds” (p.g 53). Through this, Plantinga is able to
explain and elaborate on his idea of what the Reformist objection to natural
theology really is.

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