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De Cruz, Helen, , . The Enduring Appeal of Natural Theological Arguments
2014, Philosophy Compass 9/2: 145-153.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Abstract: Natural theology is the branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to gain knowledge of God through non-revealed sources. In a narrower sense, natural theology is the discipline that presents rational arguments for the existence of God. Given that these arguments rarely directly persuade those who are not convinced by their conclusions, why do they enjoy an enduring appeal? This article examines two reasons for the continuing popularity of natural theological arguments: (i) they appeal to intuitions that humans robustly hold and that emerge early in cognitive development; (ii) they serve an argumen- tative function by presenting particular religious views as live options. I conclude with observations on the role of natural theology in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.

Comment: This would be useful in a course on philosophy or religion, metaphysics (where arguments for and against the existence of God are being considered), epistemology or religious epistemology. The paper is clear and non-technical. It does not provide arguments for or against the existence of God but considers the debate as a whole. It may then be useful for scene-setting, or for placing previously considered arguments in their context.

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Ekstrom, Laura W, , . Suffering as Religious Experience
2004, in Peter Van Inwagen (ed.) Christian Faith and the Problem of Evil. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Press: 95-110.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Summary: In this paper, Ekstrom argues that some instances of suffering might reasonably be viewed as religious experiences that serve as a means of intimacy with God. Thus, where atheologians typically take suffering as evidence against the existence of God, Ekstrom argues that it might in fact be a route of knowledge to God.

Comment: This chapter would probably be most useful in arguments for/against the existence of God. In particular, it could follow on from a unit on the problem of evil. It is of particular interest because it’s commonly argued that suffering is an argument against God’s existence, but Ekstrom argues to the contrary.

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Garcia, Laura, , . Ontological Arguments for God’s Existence
2017, in Kelly James Clark (ed.) Readings in the Philosophy of Reigion – Third Edition. Broadview Press.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Summary: A clear introduction to the Ontological Argument for God’s existence, and different versions of it.

Comment: A nice introduction to the Ontological Argument, suitable for an introductory philosophy of religion course. Would work as either a primary or secondary reading, depending on how much attention you want to give to the ontological argument.

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Garcia, Laura, , . Teleological and Design Arguments
2008, in Charles Taliaferro & Philip Quinn (eds.) A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion, Second Edition. Wiley-Blackwell: 375-384.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Summary: This chapter takes you through the history of teleological arguments and an analysis of them: beginning with traditional teleological arguments and their origins, and moving to discuss modern day ‘fine tuning’ and ‘many worlds’ arguments. Along the way, Garcia considers criticisms of these various arguments.

Comment: An excellent and thorough introduction to the Teleological Argument, suitable for an introductory philosophy of religion course as a core reading. It could be good to ask students to compare classical ‘design’ arguments with ‘fine-tuning’ arguments, based on their reading of Garcia.

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Nagasawa, Yujin, , . A New Defence of Anselmian Theism
2008, The Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233): 577-596.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Abstract: Anselmian theists, for whom God is the being than which no greater can be thought, usually infer that he is an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being. Critics have attacked these claims by numerous distinct arguments, such as the paradox of the stone, the argument from God’s inability to sin, and the argument from evil. Anselmian theists have responded to these arguments by constructing an independent response to each. This way of defending Anselmian theism is uneconomical. I seek to establish a new defence which undercuts almost all the existing arguments against Anselmian theism at once. In developing this defence, I consider the possibility that the Anselmian God is not an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being.

Comment: Useful in a philosophy of religion course or any course that discusses the existence of God. Provides an account of the Anselmian idea that God is the best possible being, objections to this idea and responses to those objections. This paper is particularly useful because it is both cutting edge and graspable by advanced undergraduate or graduate students. This will fit well in a course that discusses the coherence of classical theism.

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Nagasawa, Yujin, , . The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction
2011, Routledge.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Tyron Goldschmidt

Publisher’s Note: Does God exist? What are the various arguments that seek to prove the existence of God? Can atheists refute these arguments? The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction assesses classical and contemporary arguments concerning the existence of God: the ontological argument, introducing the nature of existence, possible worlds, parody objections, and the evolutionary origin of the concept of God the cosmological argument, discussing metaphysical paradoxes of infinity, scientific models of the universe, and philosophers’ discussions about ultimate reality and the meaning of life the design argument, addressing Aquinas’s Fifth Way, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the concept of irreducible complexity, and the current controversy over intelligent design and school education. Bringing the subject fully up to date, Yujin Nagasawa explains these arguments in relation to recent research in cognitive science, the mathematics of infinity, big bang cosmology, and debates about ethics and morality in light of contemporary political and social events. The book also includes fascinating insights into the passions, beliefs and struggles of the philosophers and scientists who have tackled the challenge of proving the existence of God, including Thomas Aquinas, and Kurt Godel – who at the end of his career as a famous mathematician worked on a secret project to prove the existence of God. The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal gateway to the philosophy of religion and an excellent starting point for anyone interested in arguments about the existence of God

Comment: Fitting for courses on Philosophy of Religion
[This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Nagasawa, Yujin, , . The Ontological Argument and the Devil
2010, The Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238): 72-91.
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Added by: Jamie Collin, Contributed by:

Abstract: The ‘parody objection’ to the ontological argument for the existence of God advances parallel arguments apparently proving the existence of various absurd entities. I discuss recent versions of the parody objection concerning the existence of ‘AntiGod’ and the devil, as introduced by Peter Millican and Timothy Chambers. I argue that the parody objection always fails, because any parody is either (i) not structurally parallel to the ontological argument, or (ii) not dialectically parallel to the ontological argument. Moreover, once a parody argument is modified in such a way that it avoids (i) and (ii), it is, ironically, no longer a parody – it is the ontological argument itself.

Comment: Useful in a philosophy of religion course. Provides an account of the ontological argument, parody objections to it, and responses to those objections. This paper is particularly useful because it is both cutting edge and graspable by advanced undergraduate or graduate students. Any course that treats arguments for and against the existence of God in any depth will discuss the ontological argument. Parody objections to ontological arguments are common (and often taken to be decisive); this would fit well in a course that discusses these parody objections.

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Overall, Christine, , . Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of God
1985, The Southern Journal of Philosophy 23(3): 3447-353.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by: Helen De Cruz

Abstract: An assumption in debates about the philosophical significance of miracles is that if a miracle (a violation of natural law or a permanently inexplicable event) were to occur, it would be evidence for the existence of the Christian God. The paper explores reservations by several philosophers about this connection between God and miracles, and presents arguments to show that if a miracle would occur there would be good reason to deny that God exists.

Comment: Great text that would spark a lot of debate. Could be a core reading for a unit on miracles or on agnosticism/atheism. If the latter, this would be particularly useful if miracles had already been discussed. Could be discussed alongside Hume on Miracles.

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