Modus Operandi for an Epistemic Theory of Justified Belief

If S feels p at t and S believes he feels p at t, than his belief of p is justified. In plain words, if you feel hungry at, say seven o clock and you believe you feel hungry at seven o clock then your belief that you are hungry is justified: i.e. you are hungry! Unfortunately, this way of justifying beliefs is not adaptable to the notion of credition, because there is no process, no dynamics, merely an observation, and a state of affairs. Now let us take a closer look at the modus operandi for a non-epis- temic theory of justified belief.

Modus Operandi for a Non-epistemic Theory of Justified Belief

S is ex-ante justified in believing p at t if and only if there is a reliable belief-forming operation (process) available to S, which is such that if S applied that operation to his total cognitive state at t, S would believe p at t-plus Д” (for a suitably small Д”) and that belief would be ex-past justified. (Goldman 2000:342). The interesting point here is that Goldman’s non-epistemic theory of justified belief is firstly, adaptable to both scientific and non-scientific beliefs and secondly, the distinction between exante and pastante and because of the addition of Д” data it is adaptable to the process of believing, i.e. credition. I think we can agree that Einstein’s process of believing in relativity, even though it was a long process involving several types of processes and functions of credition can be justified. How-ever, can Goldman’s protocol for belief justification be applied to a process of religious believing? I think that might be the case.

Suppose you believe in God. Within your mental state U then, let S be you, p be God and t be 9 am. This means that you are ex-ante justified in believing in God at 9 am. if and only if you have a reliable belief-forming process available to you (e.g. a revelation during a meditation session), which is such that if you applied that process to your total cognitive state at 9 am., you would believe in God at 9 am. plus Д” (whatever happens during the day) and that belief would then be ex-past justified. It seems like, because the process of your believing in God is applied to your total cognitive state (including Д) you have a reliable belief-forming process available and hence your belief in God is justified in a non-epistemic manner. However your belief in God would not be justified in the classical epistemic way. Still, I believe Goldman’s idea of non-epistemic justification can be fruitful for justifying processes of believing that have limited or even lack evidence. At least the argument given by Poincare is challenged because, (1902) when focusing on the processes of believing rather than on the mental state “I believe”, it can be argued that “there always will be something essential” in that process of believing that remaines and probably will do so over time, even if the whole of the process of believing may and most probably will, include changes due to the different functions of creditions. This means that regardless of the type of the process of believing, religious, secular or scientific, it might be justified, not on the basis of its epistemic value but on the basis of its process. (Runehov and Angel 2013-2014)

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