HOW CAN A BELIEVER DOUBT THAT GOD EXISTS?
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2011
© 2011 The Author The Philosophical Quarterly© 2011 The Editors of The Philosophical Quarterly
The Philosophical Quarterly
Volume 61, Issue 245, pages 746–761, October 2011
How to Cite
Holley, D. M. (2011), HOW CAN A BELIEVER DOUBT THAT GOD EXISTS?. The Philosophical Quarterly, 61: 746–761. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2011.708.x
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2011
How can someone confidently believe that God exists, but also have moments of serious doubt about whether the belief is true? A religiously significant belief that God exists is a by-product of adopting a perceptual framing narrative which presupposes God's existence. Using such a narrative is a type of skilled performance that results in an awareness of theistic significance which may at times be disrupted. At such times, doubts may arise about theistic meanings, which can exist in tension with confidence derived from using the theistic narrative as a practical guide. The relevant reflective question for believers with serious doubts is whether some alternative framing narrative is more believable and also capable of engaging them in a way of life.