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3 - Arguing for God

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2021

Brian Davies
Affiliation:
Fordham University, New York
Michael Ruse
Affiliation:
University of Guelph, Ontario
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Summary

The authors run through the major arguments for the existence of God: Anselm’s ontological argument (and also Descartes’s version), arguing that the very notion of God a priori proves hs existence; Aquinas’s cosmological (or causal) argument, that God is needed to stop an infinite regression of causes from the present to the past; and the teleological argument or the argument from design, that the design-like natural objects of this world demand a designer. Then they raise the standard objections: Gaunilo’s criticism that the ontological argument proves the existence of perfect islands, which is ridiculous, and Kant’s objection that you cannot infer matters of fact by a priori reasoning; Dawkins’s criticism that the cosmological argument raises the unanswered question of what causes God; and Hume’s criticism of the design argument, and Darwin’s subsequent demonstration that natural selection can explain final causes naturalistically, and so there is no need to invoke a Designer God.

Type
Chapter
Information
Taking God Seriously
Two Different Voices
, pp. 59 - 95
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Arguing for God
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.004
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Arguing for God
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.004
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Arguing for God
  • Brian Davies, Fordham University, New York, Michael Ruse, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Book: Taking God Seriously
  • Online publication: 29 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108867375.004
Available formats
×