Jewish Survival, Divine Supervision, and the Existence of God

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 30 (4):100-112 (2012)
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In this paper, I discuss an argument for the existence of God known as “The Argument from the Survival of the Jews.” This argument has the form of an Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE). It proceeds from the phenomenon of Jewish survival to the existence of God as the best explanation for this phenomenon. I will argue that, even if we grant that Jewish survival is a remarkable occurrence that demands an explanation, and even if we gloss over the difficulties in defining the terms “Jewish” and “survive,” the argument ultimately fails as an argument for the existence of God. It fails because it postulates divine supervision in order to explain Jewish endurance, but it doesn’t provide any clues as to what might be the underlying mechanism at work.

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Moti Mizrahi
Florida Institute of Technology


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