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WHAT SWINBURNE SHOULD HAVE CONCLUDED

  • CHARLES E. GUTENSON (a1)

Abstract

In The Existence of God (1979), Richard Swinburne gave formal expression to his utilization of the cumulative case argument and his application of the probability calculus to the theistic arguments. It is generally agreed, I believe, that this work is meticulous in detail and rigorously argued; it is also, I believe, generally agreed that the conclusion is disappointingly bland – particularly in light of the high-powered apparatus brought to bear on the question of God's existence. It is my intent to show that, perhaps, those disappointed by Swinburne's conclusion were justified in so feeling and that a stronger conclusion follows directly from Swinburne's own arguments and methodologies. Let me state at the outset, however, that this paper is not intended to be either an endorsement or a rejection of cumulative case arguments in general or of the employment of the probability calculus in such applications as the question of God's existence. Rather, I merely seek to assess Swinburne's conclusions on the grounds he lays out in The Existence of God.

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