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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.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
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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.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format