A Critique of the Tu Quoque Defense of Faith
Stephen J. Sullivan, Ph.D

This paper is a critical examination of the classic Tu Quoqueor ―You Also‖ Defense of faith in God that has played such a significant role in traditional Christian apologetics.Section 1 offers an initial, partial definition of ‗faith‘ and distinguishes between fideist and evidentialist approaches to the rationality of faith.Section 2 explains the traditional Tu Quoque Defenseof religious faith and supplies somehistorical background.The gist of this defense is that those who criticize religious faith themselves invariably rely on basic assumptions in science and common sense that go beyond the available evidence and so have a faith of their own.Section 3 considers several inadequate rebuttals and indicates their flaws.Section 4 presents a stronger rebuttal, inspired by David Hume and endorsed by some contemporary philosophers, and defends it against two criticisms.The key point of the Humean rebuttal is that basic assumptions in science and common sense, unlike religious faith, are not only natural but irresistible.Section 5 examines an ethical Tu Quoque based on William James‘ famous essay ―The Will to Believe‖, and argues that like the traditional version it fails to withstand critical scrutiny.Finally, Section 6 includes a few brief concluding reflections. [200 words]

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpt.v5n2a2