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The God Debates


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Table of Contents

Preface ix 1 Debating Religion 1 1.1 Religion under Scrutiny 2 1.2 Debating Dogma 7 1.3 Theology and Atheology 12 1.4 Could Atheism Prove God Doesn't Exist? 23 1.5 Could Religion Disprove Atheism? 26 2 Five Types of Theologies 30 2.1 Categorizing Theologies 31 2.2 Theology From The Scripture 35 2.3 Theology From The World 37 2.4 Theology Beyond The World 40 2.5 Theology In The Know 42 2.6 Theology Into The Myst 44 3 Theology From The Scripture 47 3.1 Scientific History 48 3.2 Scientific History and Scripture 51 3.3 The Argument from Divine Signs 65 3.4 The Argument from Apostolic Faith 70 3.5 The Argument from Divine Character 78 3.6 The Argument from Pseudo-history 80 4 Theology From The World 84 4.1 Theology and Science 85 4.2 Arguments from Nature 91 4.3 Arguments from Design 96 4.4 Arguments from Religious Experience 99 4.5 Arguments from Morality 110 4.6 Explanations for Reason 121 4.7 The Ontological Argument for God 126 4.8 The Argument from Pseudo-science 131 5 Theology Beyond The World 133 5.1 The Existence of Nature Argument for God 134 5.2 The Fine-tuning Argument for God 137 5.3 Why Would God Create? 144 5.4 The Problem of Evil 148 5.5 The Argument from Pseudo-cosmology 152 6 Theology In The Know 155 6.1 Arguments from Ignorance 156 6.2 Religious Epistemologies 160 6.3 Knowledge, Justification, and Truth 166 6.4 The Religious Community 171 6.5 The Arguments from Pseudo-theology 178 7 Theology Into The Myst 184 7.1 Believing in God without Knowledge of God 185 7.2 Believing in God without Concepts of God 192 7.3 Belief, Faith, and Pseudo-faith 198 7.4 The Argument from Pseudo-faith 202 8 Reason and Faith 204 8.1 Liberal Modernism and Its Rivals 205 8.2 Twelve Worldviews 211 8.3 Faith and Reason Realigned 218 References 223 Further Reading 230 Index 235

About the Author

John R. Shook is Vice President for Education and Research and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. He also is Research Associate in Philosophy at the University at Buffalo. His recent books include The Future of Naturalism (2009) and Dewey's Philosophy of Spirit (2010).


"I do, however, think that the book will enable readers to enterinto debates about God in a fully rational way, and with anawareness of the complexities of theistic arguments. It is one forstudents of the philosophy of religion to study, and they will doso with profit." (Church Times, 20 May 2011) "The book reminds us, also, of how many of the current debatesabout God at best beg the question and at worst take the form ofranting dogmatism." (Network, 2011) "As a philosophy instructor (who frequently teaches philosophyof religion), I find Shook's book to be comprehensive in itscoverage. The theological arguments, as well as theatheological responses to them, are presented in accessible terms,and analyzed perspicuously." (Metapsychology, February2011) "The God Debates is a clear, accessible, up-to-date accountof philosophical wrangles about the existence of God. Shookre-organises the arguments in an interesting way ... [and]takes on more esoteric arguments such as the claim thatwe must presuppose the existence of God if we are to engage inreasoning and scientific inquiry. In all, this is a lucid, concise,up-to-date, yet comprehensive account of intellectual debatesabout the existence of God. It is easy enough to be used bysenior high school students, and could certainly be useful inundergraduate courses in philosophy of religion."(Metamagician and the Hellfire Club, October 2010)John Shook , author of The God Debates, will discusseffective ways for nonbelievers to engage believers over that veryquestion: "Does a god exist?" Maybe it's not the old, familiararguments themselves, but new strategies and tactics that make theatheist message get heard and produce results." ( Science in theCity, February 2011)

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