The Problem With Probability

My attention has been drawn to an apologetic work by Stephen Unwin (via Carter). It reminded me of Richard Swinburne's* work. Swinburne claims that the Resurrection of Christ is 97% probable.

It does not appear to me that these discussions attempt to seriously account for the presuppositional nature of evidence. That is, all "factual" knowledge is necessarily interpreted. I'm sorry, but failure to acknowledge this is incredible epistemic naiveté.

A much preferable argument against "agnosticism" is made by William Young in his (now impossible to find) Foundations Of Theory, 1967. Let me quote:

"The agnostic's assertion that the existence of God is open to question [if it is to refer to the existence of the biblical God] will be taken to refer to God understood as the Origin of all meaning. If it is true that any meaning is possible only if [this] God exists, it follows that, if [this] God does not exist, then no meaning is possible, and [therefore], assertion, denial, or doubt of His existence is meaningless. [But] for the existence of [this] God to be open to question, doubt of His existence must be meaningful. Consequently, on the supposition that [this] God does exist, it follows that if [this] God does not exist, His existence cannot be open to question. But the agnostic asserts both that [this] God might not exist and that His existence is open to question. Hence the agnostic's position is coherent only on the supposition of atheism."

Of course, "atheism" here must be understood as any view which denies the existence of the biblical God (Origin of all meaning). But do you get it? The position that the existence of the biblical God is open to question already assumes His non-existence if it takes the "openness-to-question" as meaningful. Therefore, genuine agnosticism is impossible.

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