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Existence of God

Existence of God



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Published by: tathaagat on Nov 22, 2009
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The Existence of God
Richard Swinburne 
Second EditionPrinted in Great Britain on acid-free paper byBiddles Ltd., King’s Lynn, NorfolkPreface to the Second EditionThe Existence of God is the central book of all that I have written onthe philosophy of religion. It was originally published in 1979. A‘revised edition’ was published in 1991, but the revision consistedmerely in the addition of two appendices; the main text remainedintact. The present revision is a much more substantial one. I haverephrased my accounts in Chapters 6, 7, and 8 of the cosmological
and teleological arguments, incorporating here the material of the1991 appendices, developing the argument from laws of nature by adiscussion of the nature of laws of nature (depending on a rewrittenChapter 2) and improving my account of the argument from finetuning.I have altered Chapter 9 in the light of my subsequent workon consciousness; and Chapters 10 and 11 in the light of my subsequentwork on the problem of evil. I have added three additionalnotes—one to show how arguments to the existence of one God arecompatible with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (God as ‘threepersons of one substance’), and two discussing recent influentialvariants of an argument from design. I have largely rearranged thematerial of Chapter 12 in order to make the argument more perspicuous.There are also smaller alterations at various other places inthe book. In the course of these various alterations, I have connectedwhat I have to say with recent important new books and articles.Although my views on many minor matters involved in the argumentof the first edition of The Existence of God have changed,I remain convinced of the correctness of its general approach to thetopic, and of its resulting conclusion. A diligent student of the earliereditions will, however, detect marginally more sympathy for theargument from evil against the existence of God, balanced by marginally
greater confidence in the force of the argument from moralawareness for the existence of God (and also considerable confidencein the force of an argument from the miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus, to which for reasons of space I merely allude in this book, butfor which I have argued in detail in my book The Resurrection of GodIncarnate (Clarendon Press, 2003)).The first edition was based on two series ofWilde Lectures given inthe University of Oxford in Hilary Term 1976 and in Hilary Term1977; and on two Forwood Lectures given in the University of Liverpool in February 1977. I am grateful to those who originallyelected me to these lectureships; and to everyone who has helped mesubsequently in my understanding of the issues in oral discussionand in published criticism. My critics are many, and they haveprovided much help.I am grateful to the editors and publishers of the journals concernedfor permission to reuse material that was incorporated in theearlier editions, from these articles: ‘Whole and Part in CosmologicalArguments’, Philosophy, 44 (1969) 339–40; ‘The Argument fromDesign’, Philosophy, 43 (1968) 199–212; ‘The Argument from Design—A Defence’, Religious Studies, 8 (1972) 193–205; ‘The Problemof Evil’, in S. C. Brown (ed.), Reason and Religion (Cornell University

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