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Ekstrom, Laura W, , . Religion on the Cheap
2015, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion (Jonathan Kvanvig (ed).) Vol. 6: 87-113
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Introduction: The project of this chapter is to address this question: is it sensible to live a life that involves religious practices and experiences and involvement in religious community within a traditional monotheistic religion that affirms the existence of God, without oneself having a commitment to the existence of God—that is, with being a religious agnostic? It is argued that it is not. It is further argued that there are real costs associated with rejecting the claim that the proposition, ‘God exists’, realistically construed, is true. But one should be prepared to absorb these costs rather than trying to have it both ways – rather than getting religion on the cheap.

Comment: Useful for an introductory philosophy of religion course element on agnosticism and fictionalism, perhaps as a secondary reading in response to a paper that argues for religious fictionalism (e.g. by Natalja Deng – also recommended in the DRL). Alternatively, both of these readings could be set as core readings, and students could be set the task of defending one of them, and giving reasons why they think that particular account is stronger.

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Ellis, Fiona, , . Atheism and Naturalism
2017, in A. Carroll and R. Norman (eds.) Religion and Atheism: Beyond the Divide. London: Routledge
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Summary: Ellis argues that atheism and naturalism don’t have to be traditionally-opposed rivals. First of all offers a helpful synopsis of these traditionally-opposed positions, and then argues that there is scope for allowing that nature is God-involving as well as being value-involving, and this move can be defended on (liberal) naturalistic grounds.

Comment: A good paper to use for an atheism and agnosticism unit, especially as many do tend to use naturalism as an argument against the existence of God.

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