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Perhaps natural theology has got by well enough so far with implicit or explicit judgments about what God would do, and when we have needed to be explicit about the probability of these predictions, ‘ball-parked’ figures based on ‘hunches’ or ‘intuitions’ have served us well, whereas the precision I offer brings needless complexity.
This article sets out a formal procedure for determining the probability that God would do a specified action, using our moral knowledge and understanding God as a perfect being.
To motivate developing the procedure I show how natural theology – design arguments, the problems of evil and divine hiddenness, and the treatment of miracles and religious experiences as evidence for claims about God – routinely appeals to judgments involving these probabilities.
In that case, to help resolve such disagreements fairly, they will want a procedure for determining what those assignations should be given their other beliefs.
Apart from this, there is the question of the truth about God’s existence and activities, and natural theology as a discipline which seeks that truth.
which operates in a probabilistic framework – arguing that some phenomena independent of revelation confirm, or disconfirm, God’s existence – thereby involves a great many claims about what God would There are arguments for and against God’s existence which are more forcefully presented if they describe their prediction of divine actions as ‘analytic truths’.
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In these cases, probability only enters the picture when we’re considering whether the phenomena under consideration have really occurred.
Here are some examples, and why they really involve predictions about divine action.
Practitioners of natural theology routinely rely upon predictions of divine action.
To set out the procedure, I describe a decision-theoretic model for practical reasoning which is deontological so as to appeal to theists, but is designed not to presuppose any substantive moral commitments, and to accommodate normative and non-normative uncertainty.
Then I explain how judgments about what we probably ought to do can be transformed into judgments about what God would probably do.