Cover

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Frontmatter

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Sommaire / Contents

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pp. v-vi

Contributors

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pp. vii-ix

Acknowledgements

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pp. x-x

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Introduction: God as Object of Philosophical Argument

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pp. 1-14

Philosophical reflection on religious belief would seem to require, at the very least, discussion of the object of that belief. But here already difficulties arise. What is the object of religious belief? Is it what people often call 'God' or 'the gods?' Is it possible to talk coherently about or prove or disprove the existence of a God or gods? Are argument and...

Part I: Conditions for God and Argument

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Chapter 1: God and Argument: Strong and Weak Theories of Existence

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pp. 17-26

In discussing the relation of 'God and Argument,' it is best to begin with a few fundamentals. So I will offer here some reflections on the philosophical treatment of existence and its implications for the nature and status of the concept of God. I will expound these considerations in five theses. ...

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Chapter 2: On Being Certain About the Existence of God

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pp. 27-38

My overall position is this: Demonstrations don't count for much in philosophy nowadays. It is seldom that we can produce an argument that sweeps away ail counterpossibilities to its conclusion. Yet that's what a genuine demonstration requires.1 Nevertheless, proofs far less elaborate than demonstrations can be enough for theoretical certainty, though even...

Chapter 3: Pour une r

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pp. 39-64

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Chapter 4: God, Ethos, Ways

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pp. 65-84

A common view of the arguments for God's existence sees them as neutral uses of reason that are purportedly convincing or not on the basis purely of a reason separate from any religious claims of revelation or faith. Their neutrality guarantees their appeal to reason, considered as a power common to ail humans, transcending the differences of Greek,...

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Chapter 5: Alvin Plantinga's Slip

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pp. 85-94

I am a militant atheist. When people declare that the existence of God can be neither proved nor disproved, I generally say I for my part agree with just half of that. Jacques Maritain, for example, could have said the same. Opposed to us both are the fideists, who insist that God's existence or nonexistence is not a fit topic for rational inquiry because if s too...

Part II: (Re)situating Arguments about God

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Chapter 6: Anselm's Proof and Some Problems of Meaning and Reference

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pp. 94-114

The power of the ontological argument to hold the attention of philosophers and the failure of any particular form of it to convince more than a tiny minority of them both require explanation. I want to suggest a different interpretation of the argument, one which may help to explain the situation, which seems to justify attention in the light of ongoing...

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Chapter 7: St. Thomas and the Existence of God: Owens vs Gilson, and Beyond

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pp. 115-142

It is my contention that the Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas2 present us with a systematic approach to the question of a God's existence. The five arguments are deliberately selected and placed in a definite order,corresponding to pedagogical needs; thus, I would not hesitate to speak of a phenomenology present in the Ways, an "itinerarium" ...

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Chapter 8: The Argument from Contingency 'Then' and 'Now'

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pp. 143-152

The paper has two rather loosely connected parts: the first part reflects on the significance of the argument from contingency in the Five Ways of St Thomas Aquinas and raises the question of whether the argument depends in a sense upon the theological doctrine of creation. The second part turns to the question of our understanding of contingency in the ...

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Chapter 9: Le Dieu ind

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pp. 153-174

Cette citation initiale exprime la conviction d'un opposant qui refuse de se rendre. Or le fait est là: la preuve irréfutable de l'existence de Dieu vient d'être trouvée et—comble de malheur—, c'est arrivé à Paris. Tel est le sujet d'un récit qui se lit comme un roman policier sans coup de feu. Commissaires et détectives, toutefois, ne manquent pas au rendez-vous. ...

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Chapter 10: Kant's Attack on the Cosmological Argument

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pp. 175-188

There is no doubt that proofs for the existence of God are no longer fashionable amongst contemporary philosophers. Many people attribute the death of such proofs to the critique given by Immanuel Kant. One does not have to look far to find wildly optimistic endorsements of Kant's arguments. Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, for example, writes, "Ever...

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Chapter 11: Evidentialism at its Origins and Anglo-American Philosophy of Religion

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pp. 189-214

If one looks at the discussion in Anglo-American philosophy of religion over the last 30 years, it is clear that there has been a turn away from such classical concerns as proofs for the existence of God and the problem of evil, and an increased interest in what might be called epistemological issues. There is, undoubtedly, no single reason for this,...

Part III: Reconsidering Arguments concerning God's existence

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Chapter 12: Une preuve de l'existence de Dieu chez Whitehead?

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pp. 217-232

L'argumentation philosophique destin

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Chapter 13: Theism and Science

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pp. 233-252

An important tradition in western philosophy believes in the primacy of natural science as a guide to truth. This is sometimes met with the charge that such an allegiance amounts to 'scientism'—the view that the only things that 'really' exist are those recognised by fundamental physical theory, and that the only forms of genuine knowledge are scientific ones....

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Chapter 14: Miracles as Evidence for God

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pp. 253-264

The argument that miracles help to establish the truth of theism in general and Christianity in particular has fallen on hard times in academic circles. Far from regarding miracles as evidentially significant, professional philosophers and theologians in the last two centuries have tended to view miracles as obstacles to belief. Rudolph Bultmann's claim...

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Chapter 15: The Design Connection

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pp. 265-275

The intention of this paper is to argue that an analysis of the concept of design will provide grounds to refute any connection between this idea and arguments for the existence of God. It is not my intention to review all such arguments to illustrate where they fail. Rather I shall offer an explanation of the concept which makes a deductive argument from...