Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments

Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments

by C. Stephen Evans
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press

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Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments

Is there such a thing as natural knowledge of God? C. Stephen Evans presents the case for understanding theistic arguments as expressions of natural signs in order to gain a new perspective both on their strengths and weaknesses. Three classical, much-discussed theistic arguments - cosmological, teleological, and moral - are examined for the natural signs they embody.

At the heart of this book lie several relatively simple ideas. One is that if there is a God of the kind accepted by Christians, Jews, and Muslims, then it is likely that a 'natural' knowledge of God is possible. Another is that this knowledge will have two characteristics: it will be both widely available to humans and yet easy to resist. If these principles are right, a new perspective on many of the classical arguments for God's existence becomes possible. We understand why these arguments have for many people a continued appeal but also why they do not constitute conclusive 'proofs' that settle the debate once and for all.

Touching on the interplay between these ideas and contemporary scientific theories about the origins of religious belief, particularly the role of natural selection in predisposing humans to form beliefs in God or gods, Evans concludes that these scientific accounts of religious belief are fully consistent, even supportive, of the truth of religious convictions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199217168
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface viii

1 The Problem of Natural Theology 1

2 The Concept of a Natural Sign 26

3 Cosmic Wonder and Cosmological Arguments for God 47

4 Beneficial Order and Teleological Arguments for God 74

5 Moral Arguments and Natural Signs for God 107

6 Conclusions: Can We Rely on Natural Signs for a "Hidden" God? 149

Bibliography 193

Index 203

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