Religion and Arguments from Silence

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v10i3.1797

Keywords:

Arguments from Silence, Confirmation Theory

Abstract

Arguments from Silence have been used many times in attempts to discredit the foundations of religions. In this project, I demonstrate how one might judge the epistemic value of such arguments. To begin, I lay out for examination a specific argument from silence given by Walter Richard Cassels in his work Supernatural Religion.  I then discuss a recently developed Bayesian approach for dealing with arguments from silence. Finally, using Cassels’s work and the work of some of the critics who replied to his argument, I argue for what probabilities might be applied in the use of the Bayesian method for testing the epistemic value Cassels’s argument and demonstrate how one might respond to similar arguments.

Author Biography

Zachary Milstead, University of Oklahoma

ZACHARY G. MILSTEAD

Doctoral Candidate

University of Oklahoma, Philosophy,

455 West Lindsey, Dale Hall Tower Room 605, Norman, OK, USA 73019-0390

References

Cassels, Walter Richard. Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry Into the Reality of Divine Revelation. Fourth. Vol. I. II vols. London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1874.

———. Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry Into the Reality of Divine Revelation. Fourth. Vol. II. II vols. London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1874.

Ehrman, Bart D. How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

Henige, David P. Historical Evidence and Argument. Madison, US: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

Kett, Henry. History of the Interpreter of Prophecy. Vol. I. Oxford: Hanwell & Parker, 1799.

Lightfoot, J. B. Essays on the Work Entitled Supernatural Religion. London; New York: Macmillan and Company, 1893.

Lange, John. “The Argument from Silence.” History and Theory 5, no. 3 (1966): 288–301.

McGrew, Timothy. “The Argument from Silence.” Acta Analytica 29, no. 2 (2014): 215–28.

Sanday, William. The Gospels in the Second Century. London: Macmillan Company, 1876.

Tischendorf, Constantine. When Were Our Gospels Written? 2nd ed. London: The Religous Tract Society, 1867.

Williams, Megan. “Pamphilus of Caesarea.” In The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. John Wiley Sons, Inc., 2013.

Downloads

Published

2018-09-17

How to Cite

Milstead, Zachary. 2018. “Religion and Arguments from Silence”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):155-69. https://doi.org/10.24204/ejpr.v10i3.1797.