Principles for Weighing Evidence

Richard Swinburne

in The Resurrection of God Incarnate

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257461
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598616 | DOI:
 Principles for Weighing Evidence

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Evidence about what happened on a particular occasion is provided by memory, testimony, physical traces, and background evidence (whether the world as a whole shows that sort of thing very likely to occur). Apparent testimony claims should be taken as genuine claims and should be believed in the absence of counter‐evidence. If Jesus rose from the dead, this was a miracle—a violation of natural laws brought about by God. If there is no God, there cannot be such a violation. If there is a God, violations can occur but in general do not. But, in so far as the evidence of natural theology suggests that there is a God, and that he has reason to bring about this sort of miracle on this occasion, then positive evidence for the Resurrection from the testimony of witnesses may make it overall very probable that Jesus rose from the dead.

Keywords: God; Hume; laws of nature; miracle; natural theology; Resurrection; testimony; witness

Chapter.  10176 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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