Proof and Probability

  • Proof? Impossible!
  • Nature of God is such that complete proof is impossible and intended to be for God would be less if he could be proven!
  • Therefore there can be no proof because:
    No such thing as absolute proof (Why not? Because we can’t get outside to be objective)
    God’s nature
  • So is probability good enough?
    In philosophy there are two types of argument:
    Inductive – smoking gun assumptions
    Deductive – so long as the premises are correct and sufficient the conclusion can be accepted
  • Scientific and philosophical proof means that so long as the steps are followed correctly the process will help us formulate first a hypothesis and second a conclusion.
  • But science is literal and physical whereas philosophy deals with subjective reality
  • Cumulative effects mean that the more evidence or arguments the more likely the conclusion is correct but still it is not absolute proof, but then absolute proof against the existence is also impossible!!
  • What is truth?
    Swinburne said truth is based on what is rational and reasonable
    William James said truth is what each individual perceives
    Wittgenstein went on to state that what we consider rational and reasonable is relative to our ideas, values and view of the world this is called a ‘blik‘; one’s mind set determines the perception of truth.
  • Do we need to rationalise our belief in God?
    Some believe it is inappropriate to try. Belief in God is the foundation on which other beliefs are based and it is up to unbelievers to try to prove otherwise!
  • Therefore god exists until proven otherwise.
  • But even belief must refer to reality.
    Like God, beauty and justice are not things but they do exist.
  • Conclusion;
    Swinburne: the fact of religious experience swings the balance in favour of God. If there was a God we would expect people to have the sorts of experiences they do have if not then they would not


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