William Lane Craig Endorses My Argument from Scale against Theism!

He doesn't mention by name, of course, and may not have even had my argument in mind, but the sort of Bayesian considerations he raises support my Bayesian argument from scale, in two ways. First, he agrees with me about the "direction" the evidence points (against theism). Second, he agrees with me about the "magnitude" of that evidential support (very weak). (The words "direction" and "magnitude" are not Craig's words, but were inspired by David Schum, who pointed out long ago that evidence … [Read more...]

Spot the Fallacy #2: Fine-Tuning and the Prior Probability of Theism

Note: This post is another post in our series of articles designed to engage non-philosophers. Despite the title, you don't need to literally name a fallacy assuming there is one. What these posts are really designed to do is to get you to describe, in plain English, why the argument (or objection) presented isn't successful.Instructions:1. Read William Lane Craig's Q&A here.2. If you are not a philosopher, explain in the combox why his response doesn't work. … [Read more...]

Evidential Asymmetry, Scientific Confirmation of Prayer, and Horrific Evils

1. The General CaseOne of the most important (and equally most often forgotten) lessons that Bayes's Theorem can teach us about evidence is that the strength of evidence is a ratio. To be precise, let H1 and H2 be rival explanatory hypotheses, B be the relevant background information, and E be the evidence to be explained. Now consider the following ratio: Pr(E | B & H1) ----------------- Pr(E | B & H2) If Pr(E | B & H1) > Pr(E | B & H2), then this ratio is greater … [Read more...]

Swinburne on the Resurrection: Negative versus Christian Ramified Natural Theology

ABSTRACT: We consider the impact of negative natural theology on the prospects of Christian ramified natural theology with reference to Richard Swinburne’s argument for the Incarnation and Resurrection. We argue that Swinburne’s pivotal claim—that God would not allow deceptive evidence to exist for the Incarnation and Resurrection—is refuted by key evidence from negative natural theology. We argue, further, that Swinburne’s argument omits dominating items of evidence of negative natural theology … [Read more...]

Torley’s Response to Cavin & Colombetti on the Resurrection of Jesus

This was apparently published last December, but I wasn't aware of it until today. Vincent Torley provides an interesting Intelligent Design perspective on C&C's slide presentation on the resurrection of Jesus.LINK … [Read more...]

F-Inductive Arguments: A New Type of Inductive Argument

In his extensive writings, the prestigious philosopher Richard Swinburne makes a useful distinction between two types of inductive arguments. Let B be our background information or evidence; E be the evidence to be explained; and H be an explanatory hypothesis.“C-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses confirm  or add to the probability of the conclusion, i.e., P(H | E & B) > P(H | B).“P-inductive argument”: an argument in which the premisses make the conclusion pro … [Read more...]

MUST READ: Greg Cavin’s Case Against the Resurrection of Jesus

Greg Cavin has graciously allowed me to publish a PDF version of his slides from his debate with Michael Licona on the resurrection of Jesus. For anyone interested in arguments for or against the resurrection of Jesus, these slides are an absolute must read. In my opinion, they constitute a major contribution to the ongoing debate about the Resurrection and are the best case against the Resurrection yet presented. Cavin decisively refutes arguments for the resurrection made by all of its … [Read more...]

Loftus’s Outsider Test for Faith viewed in HD with Bayes’s Theorem

In a recent post, I mentioned that anyone interested in the discussion regarding "atheism versus faith" should be reading John Loftus. Particularly, I noted an argument from his excellent Why I Became an Atheist, the "Outsider's Test for Faith" (OTF), which he is elaborating upon in a new book of that title to be published by Prometheus Books next spring. Subsequently, I made a comment that piqued his interest by saying that "[the OTF could be] greatly strengthened by appropriately … [Read more...]