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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a long history of fruitful connections between work in probability theory and the philosophy of religion. This chapter explores these connections through discussion of two classic arguments: the fine-tuning argument and Pascal’s Wager. The formulation and assessment of both arguments relies upon increasingly sophisticated applications of the probability calculus and other formal tools. Two themes emerge from a survey of recent work. First, diverse forms of ‘philosophical technology’ are invaluable in constructing precise models, clarifying objections and identifying new approaches to venerable arguments concerning the existence of God and the rationality of religious belief. Second, benefits flow in the reverse direction as well: the philosophy of religion is fertile ground for testing ideas in formal epistemology and decision theory.

Keywords: fine-tuning argument, Pascal’s Wager, existence of God, observer-selection effect, infinite decision theory, non-standard probability, dynamics of deliberation

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