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The Existence of God 14+: The Balance of Probability


Swinburne really just brings it all together, summarizing his case, and concluding that it is more likely than not that God exists. A lot of his arguments end up not harming his overall point, or not helping, so he is somewhat conservative in his assessment.

Kindle Notes:

I also argued that one phenomenon-the existence of morality-that has been considered to be confirming evidence of the existence of God is not such evidence (4452).

I argued there that the existence of the amount and kind of evil that there is in the world (evil of kinds that would be evil whether or not there was a God) were such that a perfectly good God would allow it to occur only if he also provided compensatory life and death, and (perhaps) became incarnate to share our suffering. The fact that the evil (en) required additional hypotheses to be added to the hypothesis of theism (h) to save it from disconfirmation meant that the evil lowered the probability of theism (4453).

The fact of divine hiddenness did not, however, count against the existence of God (4457).

That there is an omnipotent God is a simpler hypothesis than the hypothesis that there is a God who has such-and-such limited power (for example, the power to rearrange matter, but not the power to create it). It is simpler in just the same way that the hypothesis that some particle has zero mass or infinite velocity is simpler than the hypothesis that it has a mass of 0.34127 of some unit, or a velocity of 301,000 km/sec. A finite limitation cries out for an explanation of why there is just that particular limit, in a way that limitlessness does not. There is a simplicity about zero and infinity that particular finite numbers lack, a simplicity recognized by scientists as evidence of truth in the judgements that they make about the relative probability of scientific theories (4531).

in having freedom to choose between good and evil, humanly free agents have a unique kind of goodness that God himself does not have (4583).

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