2008 EPS Papers (Jones)

November 20, 2008
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Michael S. Jones

Is Cognitive Humility a Sound Foundation for Religious Tolerance?

Abstract: In his 2005 article “On Religious Diversity and Tolerance” (Daedalus, Winter 2005, 136-9) Philip L. Quinn argues that the higher epistemic status of certain moral principles favoring religious tolerance vis-à-vis the truth of any religious tradition (tolerant or otherwise) provides a universal basis for interreligious tolerance. At the 2007 EPS national conference in San Diego, William Lane Craig presented a paper titled “Is Uncertainty a Sound Foundation for Religious Tolerance.” In this paper Craig takes issue with Quinn’s position, arguing that Quinn’s religious skepticism is not warranted and that doubt is not a sound foundation for tolerance. In my paper I respond to Craig by arguing that cognitive humility is warranted, that it does not entail doubt, and that it can provide a sound foundation for religious tolerance. I will then argue that this foundation has one significant advantage over the foundation proposed by Craig: its universal applicability to all religious traditions.