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Skeptical Theism: New Essays$
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Trent Dougherty and Justin P. McBrayer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661183

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661183.001.0001

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Phenomenal Conservatism, Skeptical Theism, and Probabilistic Reasoning

Phenomenal Conservatism, Skeptical Theism, and Probabilistic Reasoning

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 Phenomenal Conservatism, Skeptical Theism, and Probabilistic Reasoning
Source:
Skeptical Theism: New Essays
Author(s):

Trent Dougherty

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661183.003.0002

This chapter goes through a dynamic modeling process which is perfectly general, and shows that even granting pretty much everything Matheson claims as premises in this volume, phenomenal conservatism can prove lethal for skeptical theism. In presenting these models, an important methodological point emerges. When the present issue is examined through Bayesian eyes, it reveals that the typically binary and externalist way most skeptical theists think ignores the power both of strong conviction and of partial doubt. What is missing in the standard account of skeptical theism is the agent’s own perspective. Bayesianism and phenomenal conservatism are especially well-suited to representing the first-person perspective.

Keywords:   problem of evil, skeptical theism, probabilistic reasoning, phenomenal conservatism, Bayesianism

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