Patrick Kain

Department of Philosophy

Purdue University





This first chapter outlines the contents of the rest of the book and addresses three challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution: Can one reasonably maintain one’s moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society’s moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting one or both of those belief sources? Should evolutionary accounts of the origins of our moral beliefs and our religious beliefs undermine our confidence in their veracity? By considering together both evolution-based and disagreement-based challenges to both moral and religious belief from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, this volume cultivates insights on developing these objections and responding to them—insights that would be missed with a more narrowly focused approach. After explaining the rationale for the volume, this introductory chapter summarizes the contents of each of the volume’s chapters and then makes some suggestions for future research on the volume topics.

“Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief:

    Overview and Future Directions,” (with Michael Bergmann)

In Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief:

    Disagreement and Evolution, ed. Bergmann and Kain

    (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 1-19.