A Good F-Inductive Argument for Theism based on Consciousness

A Good F-Inductive Argument for Theism based on Consciousness March 22, 2014

I was waiting for someone to bring this up in the combox on my recent post on Swinburne’s cosmological argument, but no one did. The argument from consciousness (to theism) is a parallel argument to the cosmological argument against theism.

In the cosmological argument against theism, I pointed out that naturalism entails a physical universe whereas theism does not. Since a physical universe exists, it follows that the universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism.

The parallel argument based on consciousness goes like this. Theism entails that consciousness exists whereas naturalism does not. Since consciousness does exist, it follows that consciousness is evidence favoring theism over naturalism.

We formalize this as follows. Let B be our background information; E be the existence of human consciousness; T be theism; and N be naturalism. Here is the explanatory argument.

1. E is known to be true, i.e., Pr(E) is close to 1.
2. N is not intrinsically much more probable than T, i.e., Pr(|N|) is not much greater than Pr(|T|).
3. Pr(E | T) =1 > Pr(E | N).
4. Other evidence held equal, N is probably false, i.e., Pr(N | B & E) < 1/2.

So far as I can tell, this is a good F-inductive argument. Just as everyone except eliminative idealists should admit that the universe is evidence favoring naturalism over theism, everyone except eliminative materialists should admit that consciousness is evidence favoring theism over naturalism.

Thoughts?

Related Posts:

The Best Argument for God’s Existence: The Argument from Moral Agency

The Evidential Argument from Moral Agency Revisited

"the detail about the Roman guards is not asserted as historical fact. It is part ..."

Defending the Swoon Theory – Part ..."
"I think we agree that there is a good deal of myth and legend (i.e. ..."

Defending the Swoon Theory – Part ..."
"Oh really? There is no evidence that Moses ever existed, that the Hebrews were slaves ..."

Defending the Swoon Theory – Part ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment