An analysis of a religious opinion on the existence of god by richard swinburne

Richard swinburne debate

It's his hypothesis and he can frame it any way he pleases. The book mainly considers the arguments in favor of the existence of God, but it does devote one chapter to the most serious argument, in Swinburne's view, against his thesis, namely, the problem of evil: Theodicy. God is the source of being and power of all substances. God is the ultimate cause of everything, and moreover is omnipresent, not in the sense of being physically present everywhere, which would make him an enormous cosmic organism, but in being able to bring about effects at any place, including a perception of himself by those upon whom he bestows this grace. Having eschewed deductive arguments to God, he endorses probabilistic inductive arguments because "the premisses are known to be true by people of all theistic or atheistic persuasions" p. From 3 , 4 , and 5 The prima facie probability that the principle of credulity bestows upon perceptually based beliefs is subject to various sorts of possible defeating conditions—conditions that lower the probability that the experience is veridical and thus lower the probability that its apparent object therefore exists. But he cautions: "I shall, however, argue that, although reason can reach a fairly well-justified conclusion about the existence of God, it can reach only a probable conclusion, not an indubitable one" p. Simply move the occupant of room 1 to room 2, that of room 2 to room 3, room 3 to 4, and so on. And then Swinburne simply loses his terminus of explanation. Swinburne say that infinity is comparable to numerical values, as if it was a value itself, and sometimes treats "infinite" as a synonym for "limitless"—but otherwise says nothing about what constitutes "infinity. Page 66 introduces the Bayesian probability formulation that plays such a central role in the remainder of the book. In , he became a member of the Orthodox Church. He graduated in with a B. Chapter 3 deals with the justification of explanation. Having intended to be ordained in the Church of England, he attended St.

What will he do when he brings it to an end? Swinburne spells this out as holding that "if e is evidence for h" [evidence in the premises of the arguments from the nature of human life], "this is a relation which holds quite independently of who knows about e" Existence of God, Where appropriate, I will explain within the outline which elements are necessary to the argument and how they relate to each other.

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If someone were to hand me a wallet with the instructions that I may spend the seven bills it contains in any way that I please, I may wonder why it contains seven bills and not six or eight or some other value.

However, Swinburne does not seem to consider the possibility that the most striking of the apparent differences in claims of religious experiences within different religious traditions could be due to opposing demonic manifestations and phenomenawhich sceptics also reject.

But sometimes, when men have reported correctly some very strange event, although it seemed to be a violation of natural law, it was not.

richard swinburne quotes

Here the absence of an objective, precise metric of simplicity is painfully apparent; crying out for an explanation is a highly subjective measure. They are distinct hypotheses and need to stand on their own merits, up to and until the time when someone can rigorously show that any two or more of these hypotheses are one and the same by matching them property for property.

Immediately upon stating the principle of credulity, he instantiates it with religious experiences: "From this it would follow that, in the absence of special considerations, all religious experiences ought to be taken by their subjects as genuine, and hence as substantial grounds for belief in the existence of their apparent object—God" Existence of God, Critics of the argument from religious experience Traditionally critics of the argument from religious experience have maintained that it is a fallacy to argue from a psychological experience of x to x; to argue, for example, from the fact that it appears to you that God is present to the probability that God is present.

The reasons people give for their beliefs are always after the fact of belief itself, which comes upon them in ways they hardly know.

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What are clearly of interest to people in an age of religious skepticism are arguments to the existence or nonexistence of God in which the premises are known to be true by people of all theistic or atheistic persuasions. However, Swinburne does not seem to consider the possibility that the most striking of the apparent differences in claims of religious experiences within different religious traditions could be due to opposing demonic manifestations and phenomena , which sceptics also reject. Only h S has no included scriptures. Swinburne obviously thinks that religious experiences are subject to the agreement test, for he counts agreement among different observers as confirmatory of the veridicality of their religious experiences Existence of God, To see how he justifies his strong demand, readers must begin with Swinburne's generic account of defeater iii that the apparent object x of S 's experience wasn't present or existent. If some do not have these experiences, even when these experiences coincide with the experiences of others, this suggests that they are blind to religious realities, just as one person's inability to see colors does not show that the many who claim to see colors are mistaken, only that this individual is color blind. And inherent in the idea of God is that he is a solitary instance of his kind, a singleton. God is "omnipotent"—able to do whatever is logically possible. Swinburne's strategy is to argue that the extent of the conflict has been exaggerated, and that for the most part these claims can be shown to be compatible, since God could choose to present himself under different guises to persons who are in different cultural circumstances.

But on what agreed upon criterion does Swinburne argue for the simplicity of infinity? He defines various categories of full explanation: A complete explanation is one where all the factors are there at a particular time p. Swinburne suggests that the existence of evil does not refute the existence of God since it might be good for God to allow evil and suffering in order to provide "opportunities

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Richard Swinburne