Arguing about Gods by Graham Oppy

By Graham Oppy

During this ebook, Graham Oppy examines arguments for and opposed to the life of God. He exhibits that none of those arguments is robust adequate to alter the minds of average individuals in debates at the query of the lifestyles of God.

His end is supported via distinctive analyses of the arguments in addition to via the advance of a idea concerning the function of arguments and the standards that are meant to be utilized in judging even if arguments are winning.

Oppy discusses the paintings of a wide range of philosophers, together with Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Kant, Hume and, extra lately, Plantinga, Dembski, White, Dawkins, Bergman, Gale and Pruss.

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Moreover, this proposal does serve to draw a line between the argument defended by the strong agnostic and the sceptical conclusions; one makes no assumption that one is special – in the way required by sceptical hypotheses – in adopting any of the alternatives to the traditional theistic hypothesis – and so the proposal does eliminate sceptical arguments while leaving the agnostic argument untouched. Of course, there is an obvious problem with this line of defence, namely, that the strong agnostic seems to have given up the idea that the only court of appeal in deciding between the truth of competing hypotheses is the available evidence.

Arguments and Their Role in Belief Revision I take it that the proper function of arguments is to bring about reasonable belief revision: the aim of my argument for the conclusion that p is to bring you to reasonable acceptance of that conclusion. Of course, there are all kinds of other things that can be done with arguments – I may seek to dazzle you with my brilliance, or entertain you with my logical facility, or . . – and there are all kinds of other ways in which I may try to bring you to (reasonable) acceptance of the conclusion that p – I may tell you a story that illustrates its truth, or show you some evidence, or.

Nonetheless, I think that agnosticism can be so formulated that it is no less philosophically respectable than theism and atheism. This is not a mere philosophical exercise; for, as it happens, the formulated position is – I think – one to which I once subscribed. I include a qualification here since it may be more accurate to say that I have always subscribed to fallibilist atheism – but more of that anon. In the current section, I begin by distinguishing between two different kinds of agnosticism.

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