Herman Philipse

in God in the Age of Science?

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697533
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738470 | DOI:

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After a brief overview of the book, its main conclusions are stated. 1. Theism is not a meaningful theory. So we should become particular semantic atheists. 2. If we assume for the sake of argument that theism is a meaningful theory, it has no predictive power with regard to any existing evidence. Because the truth of theism is improbable given the scientific background knowledge concerning the dependence of mental life on brain processes, we should become strong particular atheists. 3. If we assume for the sake of argument that theism not only is meaningful but also has predictive power, we should become strong particular atheists as well, because the empirical arguments against theism outweigh the arguments that support it, and theism is improbable on our background knowledge. If we assume that either (1) or (2, 3) apply mutatis mutandis to all other gods that humanity has worshipped or still reveres, the ultimate conclusion of the book is that if we aim at being reasonable and intellectually conscientious, we should become strong disjunctive universal atheists.

Keywords: Decision tree; Richard Swinburne; Cumulative case for theism; Too odd for science to explain; Too big for science to explain; God-of-the-gaps; Strategy of subsidiary arguments; Metaphor; Analogy; Semantic atheism; Predictive power; Background knowledge; Particular atheism; Universal atheism; Strong atheism; Weak atheism; Disjunctive atheism; Anthony Kenny; The burden of proof; Religious experience

Chapter.  5382 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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