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The God Dialogues is an intriguing and extensive philosophical debate about the existence of God. Engaging and accessible, it covers all the main arguments for and against God's existence, from traditional philosophical "proofs" to arguments that involve the latest developments in biology andphysics. Three main characters represent the principal views: Theodore Logan, the theist; Eva Lucien, the atheist; and Gene Sesquois, the agnostic. Their debate takes place during a post-college cross-country road trip during which Gene expresses dismay over his future. He wants to do somethingmeaningful with his life but is at a loss as to how to proceed, despite having just earned a degree in engineering. Gene's quandary precipitates a discussion of the meaning of life and its connection to God's existence. This in turn leads to vigorous debates about morality and theism, evidence forand against God's existence, probability and the rationality of belief, and the relationship between faith and reason. The strongest arguments from all three perspectives are fairly represented. An annotated list of suggested readings directs readers to relevant and helpful primary sources. Assuming no background knowledge, The God Dialogues is ideal for courses in the philosophy of religion, an excellent supplement for introduction to philosophy courses, and a compelling introduction for anyone with an interest in the subject.
Torin Alter is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. Robert J. Howell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University. They are the coauthors of A Dialogue on Consciousness (OUP, 2008).
Table of Contents
|Outside Boston: God, Value, and Meaning||p. 1|
|Searching for Meaning|
|Atheism, Agnosticism, and Theism|
|The Argument from Morality|
|The Euthyphro Question|
|Limits on God's Power|
|Good as Part of the Divine Nature|
|Angels, Devils, and Knowing Which is Which|
|The Meaning of What?|
|Niagara, New York: Design and Evolution||p. 17|
|The Grandeur of the Falls|
|Paley's Argument from Analogy|
|The Argument from Design|
|Creation vs. Chance|
|Creation vs. Evolution|
|Natural Selection and Chance|
|The Support for Evolution|
|The Challenge of Irreducible Complexity|
|The Panda's Thumb|
|From Niagara to Chicago: Life and Fine-Tuning||p. 37|
|The Argument from Life|
|Arguing from Ignorance|
|Scientific Progress on the Origins of Life|
|The Argument from Consciousness|
|The Probability of Life's Emergence|
|The Limits of Science|
|The Fine-Tuning Argument|
|The Multiple-Universes Hypothesis|
|The Belief in Our Own Specialness|
|The Problem of Prior Probabilities|
|A Finely-Tuned God|
|Chicago, Illinois, outside the Adler Planetarium: The Cosmological Argument||p. 59|
|The Provocative Planetarium|
|The Cosmological Argument, First Pass|
|The Big Bang|
|A Contradiction in the Premises|
|The Principle of Sufficient Reason|
|Infinite Pasts and Infinite Beings|
|The Double Standard|
|The Argument from Contingency|
|More Double Standards|
|The Burden of Proof and the Missing Keys|
|Chicago, Illinois, in the Hotel: The Ontological Argument||p. 77|
|The Ontological Argument|
|Anselm and the Fool|
|Places of the Mind|
|God and the Representation of God|
|Dreaming of Elvis|
|Gaunilo's Perfect Island|
|Possible Worlds and the Necessity of God|
|The Impossibility of God|
|Imagination and Possibility|
|Somewhere in Iowa: Religious Experience, Testimony, and Miracles||p. 97|
|The Ghost of Shoeless Joe|
|Testimony and Miracles|
|The Bible as Authority|
|Experience and Evidence|
|The Psychology of Religious Experience|
|Hume on Miracles|
|Holcomb, Kansas: The Problem of Evil||p. 119|
|Murder, from Kansas to Kitty Genovese|
|The Problem of Evil|
|The Free Will Response|
|The Problem of Natural Disasters|
|Dark Clouds and Silver Linings|
|The Dependence of Good on Evil|
|The World as a Moral Proving Ground|
|Evil in the Big Picture|
|The Ship, The Captain, and the Grounds of Reasonable Belief|
|Las Vegas, Nevada: Pascal's Wager||p. 143|
|Prudential vs. Evidential Reasons|
|The Possibility and Legitimacy of Prudential Belief|
|Dominance and the Case for Gun Ownership|
|The Many-Gods Objection|
|California: Faith and the Rationality of Belief in God||p. 155|
|The Weight of Combined Arguments|
|Kierkegaard and Heroic Leaps of Faith|
|The Dangers of Faith|
|Alternative Conceptions of God|
|Religion as Metaphor|
|The Dangers of Metaphor|
|Faith and Moral Disagreement|
|The Golden Gate|
|Reading Suggestions||p. 173|
|Sources of Quotations||p. 179|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|