Looking for an accessible yet robust discussion of the ontological and teleological arguements for the existence of God while interacting with contemporary anti-theists Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens? Have you been craving a primer on St. Anselm's thought? Want to recall William Paley's Natural Theology?
Well, for the two of you still interested in this blog post, look no further than Alex Byrne's offering in the January/February Boston Review.
While Byrne argues that both philosophical arguements for the existence of God leave us wanting, he closes with this fine quip:
If a persuasive argument for the existence of God is wanted, then philosophy has come up empty. The traditional arguments have much to teach us, but concentrating on them can disguise a simple but important point. As Anselm and Paley both recognized, the devout are not exactly holding their collective breath. For the most part, they do not believe that God exists on the basis of any argument. How they know that God exists, if they do, is itself unknown—the devout do not know that God exists in the way it is known that dinosaurs existed, or that there exist infinitely many prime numbers. The funny thing about arguments for the existence of God is that, if they succeed, they were never needed in the first place.
Read the whole thing.
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