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The Rationality of Theism

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 000-0415263328
ISBN-10: 0415263328
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Editorial Reviews

Review

' ... the overall tone of the book is one of confidence, perhaps best expressed by Koons, who writes that the evidence for theism has never been so clear and strong as it is now. This book is an excellent introduction to the arguments that give rise to that confidence.' - Religious Studies

About the Author

Paul K. Moser is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of  The Severity of God: Religion and Philosophy Reconceived; The Evidence for God: Religious Knowledge Reexamined; The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology; Philosophy after Objectivity; and Knowledge and Evidence. He is co-editor of Divine Hiddenness and The Rationality of Theism, editor of Jesus and Philosophy and Rationality in Action, general editor of the book series Oxford Handbooks of Philosophy, and the past Editor of the journal American Philosophical Quarterly.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (June 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415263328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415263320
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,414,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the description indicates, this book is a collection of thirteen essays which, in one way or another, defend the thesis that a personal God exists. I disagree with the notion that these essays are "brand new" in that much of the material in several of the essays (e.g., Craig on the Kalam cosmological argument, Moreland on the argument from consciousness, and Collins on the teleological argument) has been published elsewhere, whether in books or academic philosophy journals. Thus, I think the description overly hypes the book somewhat. Moreover, given that an essay on aparticular topic will, pretty much necessarily, not approach the depth and rigor that a book-length treatment of a given topic would, there is a danger that a person who reads only these essays will be left with a more or less truncated picture of what a robust defense of theism on any particular front looks like. Again, the back cover statement that the book, "[aims] to offer comprehensive theistic replies to the traditional arguments against the existence of God..." seems a bit overblown. Nonetheless, this books makes an important contribution to the analytic philosophy of religion in at least two ways. First, it gives the reader a feel for what kinds of arguments for theism are currently being presented. Second, it benefits the non-expert in that it brings together under one cover a collection of material that would otherwise only be found by those already familiar with the relevant literature. Both of these are very good things, I think.
In my opinion, the strongest and/or most unique contributions in this book were the essays by Geivett on religious epistemology, Davis on ontological arguments, and Moser on the hiddenness of God.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Together, the three sections of the book cover an impressive range of topics. Part 1 makes preliminary points about establishing theism. Part 2, the largest section, covers 7 major arguments for the existence of God, including the ontological, cosmological, teleological arguments, as well as the arguments from morality and consciousness. Part 3 addresses two arguments against God's existence, the problem of evil, and the argument from the incoherence of theism.

While no critique can cover everything, the chapters did typically either suffer from poor argumentation, or lack of depth. For example, Robert Koons argues for the concordance of science and theism, even going so far as to say that Christian theism made science possible. He ignores substantial Greek and Roman advancements in science. Moreover, there is not a single mention of the Christian Dark ages, where progress in science halted for centuries.

In the chapter on the teleological argument, Author Robin Collins relies on the "prime principle of confirmation," which states that "whenever we are considering two competing hypotheses, an observation counts as evidence in favor of the hypothesis under which the observation has the highest probability" (p. 136). Unfortunately, by Collins' logic, this means that if I win the lottery, this is strong evidence in favor of the hypothesis that magic gnomes love and favor me, and have the power to make me win the lottery. Obviously, other considerations, like simplicity and prior probability are also necessary to find a reasonable hypothesis. While Collins is aware of this limitation, it is fair to say that as presented, Collins' chapter lacks the depth needed to make a strong argument for theism.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Excellent collection of papers by top theistic philosophers. Topics deals with science and theism , challenges to thesitic belief and arguments for the existence of God. Generally good and well argued. Highlight include Collins' defense of fine-tuning and Craig's discussion of cosmology and cosmological arguments.
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