This book presents the most recent debates by leading contemporary philosophers of enduring themes and issues concerning the question of God's existence. William Craig and Antony Flew met on the 50th anniversary of the famous Copleston/Russell debate to discuss the question of God's existence in a public debate. The core of this book contains the edited transcript of that debate. Also included are eight chapters in which other significant philosophers - Paul Draper, R. Douglas Geivett, Michael Martin, Keith Parsons, William Rowe, William Wainwright, Keith Yandell and David Yandell - critique the debate and address the issues raised. Their substantial and compelling insights complement and further the debate, helping the reader delve more deeply into the issues that surfaced. In the two final chapters, Craig and Flew respond and clarify their positions, taking the debate yet one step further. The result of these many contributions is a book which provides the reader with a summary of the current discussion and allows one to enter into the dialogue on this central question in the philosophy of religion.
'In the debate in 1984 on the existence of God between Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell, it is generally agreed that Russell won. Copleston could find no convincing arguments for his relief in a creator God; and Russell was content to assert: 'The universe is just there, and that's all.' Fascinatingly, a rerun of that debate, 50 years later, between William Lane Craig and Anthony Flew had a quite different outcome. The reason for this is the current consensus among scientists that the universe had an absolute beginning, and that the universe appears to be 'finely tuned' for the emergence of life and mind. This is accepted by Craig and Flew, and by almost all those who discuss their arguments in Stan Wallace's book… ' Church Times 'For those less familiar with the field it is an excellent introduction… it could be used in philosophy of religion courses to analyze the different arguments and the assumptions underlying them… A book that makes one think.' ESSSAT 'This will be a useful volume to all those interested in the current state of the debate concerning arguments for the existence of God.' Theological Book Review 'Largely nontechnical and well organized, this work could serve as a textbook in college classes on the philosophy of religion.' Choice '… the book offers an accessible doorway into a very important discussion and for this reason it is worth buying.' Reviews in Religion and Theology '… this volume provides an interesting discussion from both a theistic and atheistic perspective on the status of arguments for and against the existence of God… An excellent resource for all those interested in the questions central to apologetics and philosophical theology.' Religious Studies Review
Contents: Preface; Some issues in theism and atheism: setting the context, Keith Yandell; The Craig-Flew debate, William Lane Craig and Antony Flew; Reflections on the explanatory power of theism, R. Douglas Geivett; Reflections on the Craig-Flew debate, William Rowe; The burden of proof and the presumption of theism, William J. Wainwright; Comments on the Craig-Flew debate, Michael Martin; Theism, atheism and cosmology, Keith Yandell; The universe is probable; The resurrection is not, Keith M. Parsons; Infinity and explanation, damnation and empiricism, David Yandell; Craig's case for God's existence, Paul Draper; A reply to objections, William Lane Craig; A reply to my critics, Antony Flew; Bibliography; Index.