Daily Archives: January 31, 2014

Defeating Religion in One Easy Step, part 2

Part 2 — The Principle of Conservation of Belief

Luke Muehlhauser, the proprietor of Common Sense Atheism, has proposed that we can defeat religions in one easy step.  To do so, he takes a broad look at different arguments for God and notices what they all have in common: They all posit God as the best explanation for something.

Luke identifies the following four criteria for a good explanation:

  1. It’s testable and it passes the tests we give it.
  2. It’s consistent with our background knowledge and experience.  (What philosopher Tom Morris called The Principle of Belief Conservation).
  3. It’s simpler than the alternatives.
  4. It has good explanatory scope — in other words, it explains a wide variety of data.

Yesterday, I argued that God creates a testable hypothesis and that this hypothesis passes that test.  Today, we are going to move on to what philosopher Tom Morris calls “The Principle of Belief Conservation,” which he sums as follows: Read the rest of this entry