Religious Studies 33 (2):143-159 (1997)

J. L. Schellenberg
Mount Saint Vincent University
In this paper I discuss a neglected form of argument against religious belief -- generically, 'the probabilistic argument from pluralism'. If the denial of a belief is equivalent to the disjunction of its alternatives, and if we may gain some idea as to the probabilities of such disjunctions by adding the separate probabilities of their mutually exclusive disjuncts, and if, moreover, the denials of many religious beliefs are disjunctions known to have two or more mutually exclusive members each possessing a significant degree or probability, then at any rate in many such cases, the denial of a religious belief can be shown to be more probable than it is -- which is to say that the belief can be shown to be improbable. I consider a large number of responses to arguments of this form, concluding that none suffices to overthrow it altogether. Indeed, the argument remains as a significant threat to any religious belief confronted by a plurality of alternatives
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DOI 10.1017/S003441259700382X
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