Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement


God as the Simplest Explanation of the Universe1

Richard Swinburnea1

a1 Oriel College, Oxford

I have argued over many years that theism provides a probably true explanation of the existence and most general features of the universe. A major reason for this, I have claimed, is that it is simpler than other explanations. The present paper seeks to amplify and defend this latter claim in the light of some recent challenges.

1 This paper is dependent on much earlier writing of mine, especially The Christian God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) chs. 6 and 7 [Google Scholar]; Epistemic Justification (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001) ch. 4 [Google Scholar], and ‘How the Divine Properties Fit together: Reply to Gwiazda’, Religious Studies, 45 (2009) [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar], 495–8. The latter paper was a reply to Jeremy Gwiazda, ‘Richard Swinburne's argument to the simplicity of God via the infinite’, Religious Studies, 45 (2009) [OpenURL Query Data]  [Google Scholar], 487–93. I am grateful to Jeremy Gwiazda whose criticism of earlier views of mine helped me to formulate the view presented in this paper.