Religion and reasoning style (updated)


The atheists I have spoken to seem to believe that argumentum ad ignorantiam is a valid inference rule. Roughly it says that if there is no evidence for p, then p is false. Some other athiests, on the other hand, believe that there actually is evidence against the existence of a God.

Agnostics, on the other (third?) hand, seem to believe that if there is no evidence for p, then p is “unknown (at this time)”. They also seem to argue that there’s something funny about the “God Exists” proposition, for instance bringing it closer to the Christian notion of a God would make them more likely to flip to false. I claim.

I’m intrigued now if people’s religious views are associated with how they interpret reasoning tasks. There’s a little questionnaire called the Characteristics and Beliefs Inventory (CABI) which seems to ask all the right questions. See e.g. Meyer and Chow (in press?) for an example of its use.¬† This could be combined with a battery of tasks which have multiple interpretation.


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