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Gabe Czobel

Gabe Czobel

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An Analysis of Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God (2010)

On first appearance, Richard Swinburne's The Existence of God offers a highly structured, coherent, and rigorous argument for God's existence grounded in Bayes' theorem, inductive reasoning, confirmation theory, the intrinsic probability of simple hypotheses, substance dualism, and moral realism. But Gabe Czobel questions both the rigor of Swinburne's overall argument, and whether it really yields the conclusion that Swinburne expects the reader to reach. An unsympathetic reader would have difficulty overlooking its major structural flaws, particularly where the argument does not live up to its promise of being grounded in premises undisputed by all. Moreover, it only promises a threadbare deity who is almost robotic in nature, and who offers little assurance of benefit to his adherents in this life or any other.

Gabe Czobel is a retired software engineer who resides in Canada.

Published on the Secular Web

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Divine Deceit

The philosopher René Descartes famously pondered the question of the possibility of God's deceit. If God was deceitful, we as his creations could never trust anything we contemplate or perceive; it may simply be a deceitful, omnipotent God directly warping our faculties or, as our creator, deliberately constructing us with faulty, unreliable faculties to start with. To dodge this disturbing possibility, Descartes argued that God, a perfect being, could not be deceitful because deceit is a fault, an imperfection. This simple stratagem appeared to satisfy Descartes. But was Descartes on to something more insidious and unthinkable than he was willing to contemplate; was he too hasty in sweeping this concern under the rug?