Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 8

I have managed to write seven posts describing and explaining Swinburne’s case for God, but have not yet discussed a single specific argument for or against God. So, it is now time to examine an actual specific argument. (In my defense, the first 132 pages of EOG are introductory, and I have spared you many details from those first six chapters.)In Chapter 7 of EOG, Swinburne gets around to presenting his cosmological argument. A cosmological argument is an argument “to… Read more

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 7

The first premise of Swinburne’s case for God makes a fairly modest claim:1. Based on evidence other than religious experience, the existence of God is not very improbable. Because the expression “not very improbable” is a bit vague, I argued for the following clarification of premise (1), in my last post:1b. Where e is the specific evidence (considered by Swinburne in EOG) for and against the existence of God, excluding the evidence of religious experience, and where h is the… Read more

Swinburne’s Case for God – Part 6

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 other relevant evidence)… Read more

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… Read more

New Chick Tract

This one is a bit of a rehash, mind you. Read more

Disturbing the public

The atheist blogosphere (to the extent that there is such a thing) seems convulsed about the question about whether public advocacy of atheism etc. is a good idea—after all, maybe the public can’t handle it. (I’ll just mention a post by Jason Rosenhouse; follow the links back from him if you’re at all interested.)Everybody’s trying to figure out some principled position or other about the matter. But whatever comes out of such a debate, I doubt if it will be… 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… 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… Read more

DoSER

After my presentation Friday at the AAAS meeting, I stopped by the reception of DoSER (AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion).It was interesting, but my impression was that this was a bunch of people trying to keep the peace by setting aside discordant voices: Dawkins-style nonbelievers and Discovery Institute-style believers. (In other words, anyone who more agressively highlights disagreements.) So it’s a bit of a club devoted to mutual back-slapping about their common reasonableness.Having a dialogue is not a… 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 other relevant evidence)… Read more

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