1. If a belief is not at least in part an act of the will, then it is not rationally-based.
2. Beliefs are rationally-based.
3. Therefore, a belief is at least in part an act of the will.
This syllogism arrives in large part due to those (mostly atheists/agnostics) who insist that the will plays no role in their beliefs. That is to say, they could not choose to believe in God (or any negation of propositions they accept) even if they wanted to, for beliefs are not formed by an act of the will. Thus, while people may come to change their beliefs under varying and specific circumstances and given different facts and evidences, it is not because they chose to embrace the proposition. Rather, it was simply deterministic causes that engendered belief.
The problem, as (1) above notes, is rationality (or irrationality) does not seem to play any role whatsoever. If one cannot choose to believe other than what he does, is he really being irrational? It seems not. One may object by saying, “if one’s belief was formed in accordance with logical rules, then he can be said to have had a rational basis for his belief even though he could not choose it.” This seems to make two mistakes.
First, consider the counterexample of a computer. It does not learn, or rationalize, or make inference; at least none of these things are done as a person seems to do them. It goes through all the motions of rational thought (modus tollens, modus ponens, etc.), but does not actually seem to be doing rational thought. This suggests that simply because one goes through the motions of following logical rules one has not necessarily been rational. Another counterexample would be the one who follows rules of rationality but who did not understand why these things are true; such a person should not be said to be rational in the same way as someone who does understand the principles.
Second, if beliefs are the products of some kind of determinism and void of the will, then even rules of rationality are subject to this. It won’t do to say the laws of logic and rationality are some kind of externally objective measure by which we can judge the world. Yet we take rationality and the laws of logic to be just that! But if even the beliefs of rationality are simply accepted or not by deterministic factors, is one really being rational in the normal sense of the term? Not really.
One could always bite the bullet and deny (2), claiming beliefs are not rational. But in that case, even the belief that beliefs are not rational is not rational, so that we have no rational reason to accept the denial of (2). In that case, then, (3) follows. If that is true, then we have good reason to believe that atheists, at least in some small part, can control their beliefs.
 One could object, however, that the laws of logic and rationality “work,” and hence we have reason to accept them. However, we have good reasons to suspect pragmatism does not always form true beliefs (right for the wrong reasons, anyone?), and we may question why we ought to believe what is pragmatic.
 Finally, there is belief for emotional or psychological reasons (which people often refer to as irrationality), which seems to me to be prima facie evidence of will-based belief.
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