Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 5

Swinburne makes use of Bayes' Theorem in presenting most of the a posteriori arguments for and against God in The Existence of God (EOG), and he makes significant use of it in summing up his case for God. Bayes' Theorem: P (h I e & k) = P(e I h & k) x P(h I k) / P(e I k) By the symmetry of equality we can restate Bayes' Theorem with the "answer" on the right hand side of the equation: P(e I h & k) x P(h I k) / P(e I k) = P (h I e & k) We have previously discussed the conditional … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 4

Swinburne makes use of Bayes' Theorem in presenting most of the a posteriori arguments for and against God in The Existence of God (EOG), and he makes significant use of it in summing up his case for God. Although his argument can be presented without using Bayes' Theorem, I want to stick closely to Swinburne's presentation of his case as presented in EOG, so I expect to take a look at his use of Bayes' Theorem as part of presenting and explaining his case for God. This theorem looks a bit … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 3

Before we look at the a posteriori arguments that Swinburne presents and evaluates in The Existence of God (EOG), I should briefly describe his views on a priori arguments for and against the existence of God.In Chapter 1 of EOG, Swinburne mentions an assumption that his case for God makes:In reaching my final conclusion about how probable it is that there is a God, I assume that no a priori arguments of either species, and no a posteriori arguments other than those that I discuss, have any … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 2

Swinburne's case for God (in The Existence of God, 2nd ed.) can be summed up this way:1. Based on evidence other than religious experience, the existence of God is not very improbable.2. If based on evidence other than religious experience, the existence of God is not very improbable, then the evidence from religious experience (in combination with other relevant evidence) makes the existence of God more probable than not.Therefore:3. The evidence from religious experience (in combination with … [Read more...]

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 1

Richard Swinburne summarizes his case for God in the final pages of the final chapter of The Existence of God:…all that my conclusion so far amounts to is that it is something like as probable as not that theism is true, on the evidence so far considered. However, so far in this chapter I have ignored one crucial piece of evidence, the evidence from religious experience. I concluded the last chapter (p.326) with the claim that, unless the probability of theism on other evidence is very low, the t … [Read more...]

Victor on Weird Stuff

Victor Reppert has been kind enough to reply on his Dangerous Idea blog to my comments on his earlier posting. I'm replying to his reply, which will evoke a counter-reply, which will get a counter-counter-reply...until one or the other of us has some real work to do and has to break it off. Sigh. That is the damn problem with these discussions. They could go on for lifetimes, but we academics have to work them in between grading papers, committee meetings, publishers' deadlines, etc. … [Read more...]

Dianelos on the Moral Argument

Dianelos Georgoudis, in reply to my post “Atheism Debunked! Again!,” has conveniently and succinctly offered both “conceptual” and a “practical” moral arguments for theism. I take the liberty of putting the first of these in premise/conclusion format and try to express it a bit more rigorously. I do hope I have not distorted his meaning. For his original wording, please see the comments section of the earlier post.The Conceptual Argument:1) For naturalists, that is, those who believe that the nat … [Read more...]

The Purposes of God

Whether a theist says “God created all living things” or “God created the universe” or “God raised Jesus from the dead” the point is to give a personal explanation for some facts (or alleged facts) as opposed to a physical or scientific explanation. When giving a personal explanation for some fact, information about motivations or purposes is obviously relevant evidence.If we know that just one person committed the murder of a rich man, and if we know that it was either the butler or the maid wh … [Read more...]


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