1st Edition

The Existence of God A Philosophical Introduction

By Yujin Nagasawa Copyright 2011
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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).

    ‘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