From the time of the thinkers of ancient Greece, the question of what can be said about the existence and nature of God has been debated by many philosophers and theologians. In Theism and Atheism: The Eternal Debate, F.F. Centore presents a broad analysis of the major positions that address the question and the thinkers who have contributed to the debate. This is an admirably lucid and thorough examination of the history of natural theology. Covering the material in a thematic rather than in a strictly chronological way, Centore draws out the key positions on topics such as the relationship of science and religion, the problem of evil, Naturalistic and Supernaturalistic theism and the dispute between essence and existence. The proponents of the various positions are considered alongside their most explicit critics. Important thinkers dealt with in this work include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Pascal, Kant, Hume, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud and Darwin. The diversity of exploration also goes beyond the Judeo-Christian tradition to look at Hinduism, Buddhism, Stoicism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism and Classical Paganism. This work, however, is much more than a survey of the major historical arguments and rebuttals concerning God's existence and nature. Overall, it is a work by a well-established Catholic philosopher who concludes that God's existence and nature are indeed compatible with modern science, human freedom and the existence of evil in the world.
Contents: Preface; The reach of reason; The problem of evil; Naturalistic theism; Supernaturalistic theism; The as-if approach to God; The for-real approach to God: the a priori method; The for-real approach: a posteriori internal experience method; The for-real approach: a posteriori external experience method based on essence; The for-real approach: a posteriori external experience method based on existence; Bibliography; Index.