2022: Jove's Bodega: Compendium of Philosophical Inquiry

On Religion: The Problem with Conflicting Testimonies

Mishael Abu-Samhan
SFU Philosophy Student
Jove's Bodega: Compendium of Philosophical Inquiry, 2022, cover image

Published 2023-01-30


  • Epistemology,
  • Religion


Richard Swinburne’s “Is There A God?” articulates an argument for God’s existence, with the key premise being the principle of testimony. The principle postulates that one should believe the experiences of others if one does not have said experiences. While I accept the principle of testimony and agree that people’s experiences can give them a prima facie justification for God’s existence,
I argue the diversity of conflicting religious testimony acts as a defeater to Swinburne’s argument. One does not have, all things considered, justification for God’s existence through testimony. My strategy will present a scenario of religious diversity which illustrates the dynamics of conflicting testimony across disparate groups.