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Sign in Create an account. Syntax Advanced Search. Richard Swinburne. The Existence of God. Oxford University Press. Abstract Richard Swinburne presents a substantially rewritten and updated edition of his most celebrated book. No other work has made a more powerful case for the probability of the existence of God.

Swinburne gives a rigorous and penetrating analysis of the most important arguments for theism: the cosmological argument; arguments from the existence of laws of nature and the ‘fine-tuning’ of the universe; from the the existence of god swinburne download of consciousness and moral awareness; and from miracles and religious experience.

He claims that while none of these arguments are deductively valid, they do give inductive support to theism and that, even when the argument from evil is weighed against them, taken together they offer good grounds to support the probability that there is a God.

The overall structure of the discussion and its conclusion have been retained for this new edition, but much has been changed in order to strengthen the argumentation and to take account the existence of god swinburne download Swinburne’s subsequent work on the existence of god swinburne download nature of consciousness and the problem of evil, and of the latest philosophical and scientific writing, especially in respect of the laws the existence of god swinburne download nature and the argument from fine-tuning.

This is now the definitive version of a classic in the philosophy of religion. Author’s Profile. Arguments for Theism, Misc in Philosophy of Religion. God Proof Theism. Call number. ISBN s. View all bargains Buy this book.

Links PhilArchive Upload a copy of this work Papers currently archived: 74, Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server.

My notes Sign in to use this feature. Similar books and articles On the Nature and Existence of God. Richard M. Jeremy Gwiazda – – Sophia 48 4 Richard Swinburne – – Faith and Philosophy 22 5 – Skeptical Theism. Justin McBrayer – – Philosophy Compass 5 7 Swinburne’s Explanation of the Universe. Does God’s Existence Need Proof? Richard Messer – – Oxford University Press. Simplicity and Theology. What Swinburne Should Have Concluded. Charles E. Gutenson – – Religious Studies 33 3 Analytics Added to PP Downloads 14, 6 months 14 63, Historical graph of downloads.

Patterns of Abduction. Gerhard Schurz – – Synthese 2 Grounding and the Existence of God. Joshua R. Sijuwade – – Metaphysica 2 Simplicity as a Criterion of Theory Choice in Metaphysics. Andrew Brenner – – Philosophical Studies 11 посмотреть больше Nevin Climenhaga – – Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 2 References found in this work No references found. Add more references.

Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy. Normative ethics. Philosophy of biology. Philosophy of language. Philosophy of mind. Philosophy of religion. Science Logic and Mathematics.


Richard Swinburne is There a God 2010 – The existence of god swinburne download

Images Donate kulwinder billa album download An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An of text ellipses. Enter Email Confirm Email. God, theism claims, causes inanimate things to have the powers and liabilities they do, at each moment when they have them. The same four criteria are at work in judging the worth of personal explanations. It could still exist the existence of god swinburne download I painted it red so that it was no longer brown.


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Video Audio icon An illustration of an audio speaker. Audio Software icon An illustration of a 3. Software Images icon An illustration of two photographs. Images Donate icon An illustration of a heart shape Donate Ellipses icon An illustration of text ellipses. Metropolitan Museum Cleveland Museum of Art. God Proof Theism. Call number. ISBN s. View all bargains Buy this book. Links PhilArchive Upload a copy of this work Papers currently archived: 74, Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server.

My notes Sign in to use this feature. Similar books and articles On the Nature and Existence of God. Richard M. Jeremy Gwiazda – – Sophia 48 4 Metropolitan Museum Cleveland Museum of Art. Internet Arcade Console Living Room. Books to Borrow Open Library. Search the Wayback Machine Search icon An illustration of a magnifying glass. Don’t have an account yet? Register Now. Register New Account.

Password Minimum 6 symbols. Confirm password. Sign up. Already have an account? Password Lost Password? But science cannot explain why every object has the same powers and liabilities. It can explain why an object has one power in virtue of it having some wider power why this local law of nature operates in virtue of some more general law of nature operating. But it could not conceivably explain why each object has the most general powers it does.

Then what that means is that every atom, every electron, and so on attracts every other object in the universe with exactly the same attractive force i. But, wherever we stop, the same general point applies. That, says the materialist, is just how things are. But that sort of stopping place is just where no rational enquirer will stop. If all the coins found on an archaeological site have the same markings, or all the documents in a room are written with the same characteristic handwriting, we look for an explanation in terms of a common source.

The apparently coincidental cries out for explanation. It is not merely that all material objects have the same very general powers and liabilities as each other e. Each electron behaves like each other electron in repelling every other electron with the same electrical force. Thus protons are often caused to exist and have the powers and liabilities they do by the decay of neutrons a neutron may decay into a proton, an electron, and a neutrino.

But then an ultimate explanation of an inanimate kind would still be in terms of particles or just chunks of matter-energy of some few kinds which have the same powers and liabilities as each other.

Larger objects fall into kinds, too. Oak trees behave like other oak trees, and tigers like other tigers. And many of these respects in which all material objects and objects of particular kinds behave like each other for almost all the time are also simple and so easily detectable by human beings. But fortunately our world is not like that.

The World and its Order 47 In our world there are regularities in the behaviour of mediumsized objects which can be readily detected and used by the unscientific—regularities which hold for almost all the time and to a high degree of approximation. Heavy objects fall to the ground, humans and other land animals need air to live, seeds planted and watered grow into plants, bread nourishes humans but grass does not.

There are, of course, exceptions—there are cases when heavy objects will not fall to the ground e. The obvious approximate regularities which humans can readily detect are ones with important consequences for whether we live or die eat enough to live, escape predators and accidents , how we can mate, have children, keep warm, travel, and so on.

By observing and understanding these regularities, humans can then utilize them to make a difference to the world outside our bodies, and thereby to our own lives. We need true beliefs about the effects of our basic actions if through them we are to make a difference to the world.

By observing that bread nourishes, we can then take steps to stay alive by eating bread. By observing that seeds including grains of wheat when planted and watered grow into plants, we can then take steps to grow wheat to make into bread.

But if material objects behaved totally erratically, we would never be able to choose to control the world or our own lives in any way. So, in seeking an explanation of why all material objects fall into a few kinds with the same simple powers and liabilities as each other, we should seek one which explains why these kinds are such that the approximate powers and liabilities of medium-sized material objects including those of importance for human life which follow therefrom are readily detectable by humans.

For it is a pervasive feature of all material objects—that their powers and liabilities are such as to have this consequence. The simple hypothesis of theism leads us to expect all the phenomena which I have been describing with some reasonable degree of 48 The World and its Order probability. God being omnipotent is able to produce a world orderly in these respects. And he has good reason to choose to do so: a world containing human persons is a good thing.

Persons have experiences, and thoughts, and can make choices, and their choices can make big differences to themselves, to others, and to the inanimate world. And humans have available to them a particular kind of free choice—the freedom to choose between good and evil—which God himself does not have and so will have very strong reason to bring about.

God, being perfectly good, is generous. With a body humans have a limited chunk of matter under our control, and, if we so choose, we can choose to learn how the world works and so learn which bodily actions will have more remote effects. We can learn quickly when rocks are likely to fall, predators to pounce, and plants to grow. Thereby God allows us to share in his creative activity of choosing.

We can make choices crucial for ourselves—whether to avoid falling rocks, to escape from predators, to plant crops in order to get enough to eat, or not to bother; whether to build houses and live comfortably or to be content with a more primitive life-style.

And we can make choices crucial for other embodied and so publicly accessible persons—whether to give them food or let them starve. With this knowledge we can build instruments which extend further our knowledge and control of the world. Humans can discover the laws of dynamics and chemistry and so make cars and aeroplanes, or—alternatively—bombs and guns; and so extend the range of our power from control merely of our bodies and their local environment to a much wider control of the world.

Embodiment in an orderly world gives the possibility not merely of quick learning of regularities utilizable for survival, but of science and technology—of discovering by co-operative effort over the years deep laws which can be utilized to rebuild our world in the ways we choose. It is up to us whether we choose to learn and extend control, and up to us The World and its Order 49 how we extend control. Of course God has reason to make many other things, and I would hesitate to say that one could be certain that he would make such a world.

The suitability of the world as a theatre for humans is not the only reason for God to make an orderly world. The higher animals too are conscious, learn, and plan—and the predictability of things in their most easily detectable aspects enables them to do so. But beyond that an orderly world is a beautiful world. Beauty consists in patterns of order. Total chaos is ugly. The movements of the stars in accord with regular laws is a beautiful dance.

God has reason to make an orderly world, because beauty is a good thing—in my view whether or not anyone ever observes it, but certainly if only one person ever observes it.

Humans see the comprehensibility of the world as evidence of a comprehending creator. The prophet Jeremiah lived in an age in which the existence of a creator-god of some sort was taken for granted. What was at stake was the extent of his goodness, knowledge, and power. Jeremiah argued from the order of the world that he was a powerful and reliable god, that god was the sort of God that I described in Chapter 1.

The orderly behaviour of material bodies, which he describes as their tendency to move towards a goal e. For we see that certain things lacking awareness, viz, natural bodies, move so as to attain a goal. This is evident from the fact that always or very frequently they behave in the same way and there follows the best result—which shows that they truly tend to a goal, and do not merely hit it by accident.

Nothing however that lacks awareness tends to a goal, except under the direction of someone with awareness and with understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer. Summa Theologiae Ia 2. The hypothesis of theism is a simple hypothesis which leads us to expect these observable phenomena, when no other simple hypothesis will do so.

The perfect goodness of God follows from his three simple properties of being essentially omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly free. On the materialist hypothesis it is a mere coincidence that material objects have the same powers as each other, and not a simple stopping point for explanation.

There is also the marvellous order of human and animal bodies. They are like very very complicated machines. They have delicate sense organs which are sensitive to so many aspects of the environment, and cause us to have true beliefs about our environment.

We learn where the objects around us are, where our friends are and where our enemies are, where there is food and where there is poison—through our eyes turning light rays and our ears turning sound waves into nerve impulses. And by using these resultant beliefs we can move ourselves, our arms and hands and mouths—to climb and hold rocks and talk—as basic actions in ways which enable us to achieve all sorts of diverse goals including those needed for our survival.

The complex and intricate organization of human and animal bodies, which made them effective vehicles for us to acquire knowledge and perform actions in these ways, was something which struck the anatomists and naturalists of the eighteenth century even more than those of earlier centuries partly because the invention of the microscope at the end of the seventeenth century allowed them to see just how intricately organized those bodies were.

Very many eighteenth-century writers argued that there was no reason to suppose that chance would throw up such beautiful organization, whereas God was able to do so and had abundant reason to do so—in the goodness, to which I have drawn attention in my own way earlier in the chapter, of the existence of embodied animals and humans. Hence their existence, they argued, was good evidence of the existence of God.

I believe this argument as so far stated to be correct, by the criteria given in Chapter 2. As I argued earlier, God has reason for creating embodied persons and animals, and so for creating human and animal bodies. God is able to bring about the existence of such bodies. That he does so, we saw in Chapter 3, is a simple hypothesis. Hence there is good reason to believe that God is the creator of human and animal bodies.

Their existence provides another strand of evidence additional to that provided by the existence of the universe and its conformity to natural laws for the existence of God.

But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place, I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given—that, for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there.

Yet why should not this answer serve for the watch as well as for the stone? For this reason, and for no other, viz. The argument does not, however, give any reason to suppose that God made humans and animals as a basic act on one particular day in history, rather than through a gradual process.

And, as we now know, humans and animals did come into existence through the gradual process of evolution from a primitive soup of matter which formed as earth cooled down some 4, million years ago.

In that process natural selection played a central role. The World and its Order 53 Because the story is so well known, I shall summarize it in a quick and very condensed paragraph. Molecules of the primitive soup combined by chance into a very simple form of life which reproduced itself. It produced offspring very similar to itself but each of them differing slightly by chance in various respects. In virtue of these differences, some of the offspring were better adapted to survive and so survived; others were not well equipped to survive and did not survive.

The next generations of offspring produced on average the characteristics of their parents, but exhibited slight variations from them in various ways. The more a characteristic gave an advantage in the struggle for survival, the more evolution favoured its development. Other things being equal, complexity of organization was a characteristic with survival value, and so more complex organisms began to appear on earth. Whatever characteristic of an animal you name, there is a story to be told of how it came to have that characteristic in terms of it being one of many characteristics which were slight variants on the characteristics of parents, and it giving an advantage in the struggle for survival over the other characteristics.

Once upon a time giraffes had necks of the same length as other animals of their bodily size. But by chance some giraffe couples produced offspring with longer necks than usual. These offspring with the longer necks were better able to reach food e.

The offspring of the longer-necked giraffes had on average necks of the same lengths as their own parents, but some had ones slightly longer and others had ones slightly shorter.

There was an advantage in even longer necks, and so the average neck of the population became longer. But giraffes with very long necks proved less able to escape from predators—they could not escape from woods or run so fast when pursued by lions. So the length of giraffe necks stabilized at an optimum size—long enough for giraffes to get the leaves but not so long as to make them unable to escape from predators.

That, or something like 54 The World and its Order it, is the explanation of why the giraffe has a long neck. And there is a similar story to be told for every animal and human characteristic. A little sensitivity to light gave some advantage to many animals in many environments in the struggle for survival, a little more sensitivity gave more advantage, and hence the eye developed in many animals. And, above all, complexity of nervous organization in supporting a range of sense organs and bodily movements gave great advantage, and so we have the complexly organized animals and humans we have today.

So, in summary, the Darwinian explanation of why there are the complex animal and human bodies there are today is that once upon a time there were certain chemicals on earth, and, given the laws of evolution e. This explanation of the existence of complex organisms is surely a full explanation, but it is not an ultimate explanation of that fact. For an ultimate explanation we need an explanation at the highest level of why those laws rather than any other ones operated, and why there were those chemicals on earth.

The laws of evolution are no doubt consequences of laws of chemistry governing the organic matter of which animals are made. And the laws of chemistry hold because the fundamental laws of physics hold. But why just those fundamental laws of physics rather than any others? If the laws of physics did not have the consequence that some chemical arrangement would give rise to life, or that there would be random variations by offspring from characteristics of parents, and so on, there would be no evolution by natural selection.

So, even given that there are laws of nature i. If several of the constants had a value greater or less than their actual value by one part in a million, no animal life, let alone human life, would have evolved.

The materialist says that there is no explanation why there are just the laws there are. The theist claims that God has a reason for bringing about those laws because those laws have the consequence that eventually animals and humans evolve. Even given that the laws of physics are such as to give rise to laws of evolution of complex organisms from a certain primitive soup of matter, animals and humans will evolve only if there is a primitive soup with the right chemical constitution to start with.

Some soups different in chemical constitution from that from which the earth actually began would also, given the actual laws of physics, have given rise to animals. But most soups of chemical elements made from differently arranged fundamental particles would not have given rise to animals. So why was there that particular primitive soup? We can trace the history of the world further backwards. The primitive soup existed because the earth was formed in the way it was; and the earth was formed in the way it was because the galaxy was formed in the way it was, and so on.

The matter-energy at the time of the Big Bang had to have a density and a velocity of recession, again within very narrow bands, if it was to bring forth life. For example, if the Big Bang had caused the chunks of matter-energy to recede from each other a little more quickly, no galaxies, stars, or planets, and no environment suitable for life, would have been formed on earth or 56 The World and its Order anywhere else in the universe.

If the recession had been marginally slower, the universe would have collapsed in on itself before life could have been formed. Of course, the universe may not have had a beginning with a Big Bang, but may have lasted forever.

Even so, its matter must have had certain general features if at any time there was to be a state of the universe suited to produce animals and humans. There would need, for example, to be enough matter but not too much of it for chemical substances to be built up at some time or other—a lot of fundamental particles are needed but with large spaces between them.

And it remains the case that only a certain narrow range of laws would allow there to be animals and humans at any time ever. Again the materialist will have to leave it as an ultimate brute fact that an everlasting universe and its laws had those characteristics, whereas the theist has a simple ultimate explanation of why things are thus: that by his action at each moment of everlasting time God keeps them thus.

He has reason to do this, among other reasons, in order to ensure that humans will evolve at some time on earth and maybe also at other times on other planets. True, God could have created humans without doing so by the long process of evolution. To repeat my earlier point—God also has reason to bring about animals.

Animals are conscious beings who enjoy much life and perform intentional actions, even if they do not choose freely which ones to do. Of course God has a reason for giving life to elephants and giraffes, tigers and snails.

And anyway, the beauty of the evolution of the inanimate world from the Big Bang or from eternity would be quite enough of a reason for producing it, even if God were the only person to have observed it. But he is not; we ourselves can now admire earlier and earlier stages of cosmic evolution through our telescopes.

God paints with a big brush from a large paintbox and The World and its Order 57 he has no need to be stingy with the paint he uses to paint a beautiful universe. Darwin showed that the universe is a machine for making animals and humans.

I have argued that the principles of rational enquiry suggest that they do. Darwin gave a full explanation of the existence of animals and humans; but not, I think, a complete or ultimate one.

The watch may have been made with the aid of some blind screwdrivers or even a blind watchmaking machine , but they were guided by a watchmaker with some very clear sight. An objector may invoke a form of what is known as the anthropic principle to urge that, unless the universe exhibited order of the kinds which I have described simple laws operating on matter in such a way as to lead to the evolution of animals and humans , there would not be any humans alive to comment on the fact.

This argument, however, fails totally for a reason which can best be brought out by an analogy. The machine is then set to work, and to the amazement and relief of the victim the machine exhibits an ace of hearts drawn from each pack. The victim thinks that this extraordinary fact needs an explanation in terms of the machine having been rigged 58 The World and its Order in some way. But the kidnapper, who now reappears, casts doubt on this suggestion. You could not possibly see anything else.

For you would not be here to see anything at all, if any other cards had been drawn. There is indeed something extraordinary in need of explanation in ten aces of hearts being drawn.

The fact that this peculiar order is a necessary condition of the draw being perceived at all makes what is perceived no less extraordinary and in need of explanation. Maybe only if order is there can we know what is there, but that makes what is there no less extraordinary and in need of explanation.

True, every draw, every arrangement of matter, is equally improbable a priori—that is, if chance alone dictatcs what is drawn. Another objector may advocate what is called the many-worlds theory. But we need a reason to suppose there are any universes other than our own. For description of the kinds of multiverse which recent physicists have postulated, see Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma, chapter 9.


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