Religion and Arguments from Silence




Arguments from Silence, Confirmation Theory


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


Doctoral Candidate

University of Oklahoma, Philosophy,

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


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

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How to Cite

Milstead, Zachary. 2018. “Religion and Arguments from Silence”. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (3):155-69.