The Equal Weight Argument Against Religious Exclusivism

In Jeanine Diller & Asa Kasher (eds.), Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities. Springer (2013)
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In the last decade, analytic epistemologists have engaged in a lively debate about Equal Weight, the claim that you should give the credences of epistemic peers the same consideration as your own credences. In this paper, I explore the implications of the debate about Equal Weight for how we should respond to religious disagreement found in the diversity of models of God. I first claim that one common argument against religious exclusivism and for religious pluralism can be articulated as an Equal Weight argument. I then argue that to avoid this argument, religious exclusivists must reject Equal Weight. Next, I maintain that, while the exclusivist complaint that pluralism is self-undermining is incorrect, exclusivists can rightly object that the pluralist’s Equal Weight argument is self-undermining. Thus both exclusivists and pluralists have an interest in rejecting Equal Weight. My final discussion is speculative: I suggest that the goals of those of pluralist persuasion might be better met by religious permissivism, the view that some forms of both exclusivism and pluralism are rational responses to religious disagreement.

Author's Profile

Samuel Ruhmkorff
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (PhD)


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