Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-wfvfs Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-10T11:34:06.096Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Defending the independence constraint: a reply to Snider

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2008

Department of Philosophy, University of Delaware, NewarkDE 19716


In an earlier paper I argued that Alvin Plantinga's defence of pure experiential theism (a theism epistemically based on religious experience) against the evidential problem of evil is inappropriately circular. Eric Snider rejects my argument claiming first that I do not get Plantinga's thought right. Second, he rejects a key principle my argument relies on, viz. the ‘independence constraint on neutralizers’. Finally, he offers an alternative to the independence constraint which allows the pure experiential theist to deal successfully with the evidential problem of evil. In this paper I argue that: (a) I have correctly characterized Plantinga's argument; and (b) that Snider's proposed counter-example to the independence constraint fails. Finally, I argue (c) that Snider's proposed alternative to the independence constraint is not a plausible epistemic principle.

Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



1 Silver, DavidReligious experience and the evidential argument from evil’, Religious Studies, 38 (2002), 339353CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 Snider, EricAre causes of belief reasons for belief? Silver on evil, religious experience, and theism’, Religious Studies, 44, 2008), 185202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar References to this articles are in-text.