The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction (Paperback) book cover

The Existence of God

A Philosophical Introduction

By Yujin Nagasawa

© 2011 – Routledge

194 pages

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About the Book

Does God exist? What are the various arguments that seek to prove the existence of God? Can atheists refute these arguments? The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction assesses classical and contemporary arguments concerning the existence of God:

  • the ontological argument, introducing the nature of existence, possible worlds, parody objections, and the evolutionary origin of the concept of God
  • the cosmological argument, discussing metaphysical paradoxes of infinity, scientific models of the universe, and philosophers’ discussions about ultimate reality and the meaning of life
  • the design argument, addressing Aquinas’s Fifth Way, Darwin’s theory of evolution, the concept of irreducible complexity, and the current controversy over intelligent design and school education.

Bringing the subject fully up to date, Yujin Nagasawa explains these arguments in relation to recent research in cognitive science, the mathematics of infinity, big bang cosmology, and debates about ethics and morality in light of contemporary political and social events.

The book also includes fascinating insights into the passions, beliefs and struggles of the philosophers and scientists who have tackled the challenge of proving the existence of God, including Thomas Aquinas, and Kurt Gödel - who at the end of his career as a famous mathematician worked on a secret project to prove the existence of God.

The Existence of God: A Philosophical Introduction is an ideal gateway to the philosophy of religion and an excellent starting point for anyone interested in arguments about the existence of God.


‘Exceptionally well written, clear, and informed. The material is engaging and approachable, with technicalities skilfully explained. It will be a valuable text for undergraduates taking courses in philosophy of religion.’ – Keith Parsons, University of Houston - Clear Lake, USA

‘Nagasawa gives interesting and historically-nuanced perspectives on some of the great arguments in the Philosophy of Religion, writing in a clear and accessible way about some of the most opaque and inaccessible issues to which the human mind may direct itself.’ – T. J. Mawson, University of Oxford, UK

Yujin Nagasawa’s clear and accessible writing style and mastery of the subject matter make this an engaging read. Those looking for an introductory survey of the arguments for the existence of God will find reading it to be a rewarding experience.’ – Andrei Buckareff, Marist College, USA

‘This is a very lucid discussion of all the main philosophical arguments for the existence of God, assessing their strengths and weaknesses. It will appeal not only to professional philosophers but to many other readers as well.’ – John Hick, University of Birmingham, UK

'Nagasawa's book is a useful summary of arguments for and against the existence of God. It is varied, representative of all main arguments and offers an encyclopaedia of information on the topic. It should be available to students and those with academic interest in the topic.' – Christina Landman, University of South Africa

Table of Contents

Preface Part 1: An Armchair Proof of the Existence of God 1. Gödel’s Secret Project 2. Anselm’s Discovery 3. Descartes’s Ontological Argument 4. Objections to the Ontological Argument 5. Hartshorne’s Discovery 6. Objections to the Modal Ontological Argument 7. Gödel’s Ontological Argument Part 2: ‘Follow the Evidence Wherever it Leads’: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design 8. Professor Flew’s Conversion 9. Battles Over Evolution 10. Intelligent Design 11. History of the Design Argument 12. Objections to the Design Argument 13. The Theory of Evolution 14. Judge Jones’s Verdict on Intelligent Design Part 3: The Big Bang, Infinity, and the Meaning of Life 15. The Big Bang 16. Infinity 17. History of the Cosmological Argument 18. The Kalām Cosmological Argument 19. Objections to the Kalām Cosmological Argument 20. Infinity and the Meaning of Life Conclusion: Additional Arguments for and against the Existence of God. Further Reading. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Yujin Nagasawa is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Birmingham, UK. He is author of God and Phenomenal Consciousness (2008), and editor/co-editor of There’s Something About Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument (2004), New Waves in Philosophy of Religion (2008) and Scientific Approaches to the Philosophy of Religion (2012).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHILOSOPHY / Metaphysics
PHILOSOPHY / Religious