The God Dialogues: A Philosophical Journey

Paperback | October 1, 2010

byTorin Alter, Robert J. Howell

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The God Dialogues is an intriguing and extensive philosophical debate about the existence of God. Engaging and accessible, it covers all the main arguments for and against God's existence, from traditional philosophical "proofs" to arguments that involve the latest developments in biology andphysics. Three main characters represent the principal views: Theodore Logan, the theist; Eva Lucien, the atheist; and Gene Sesquois, the agnostic. Their debate takes place during a post-college cross-country road trip during which Gene expresses dismay over his future. He wants to do somethingmeaningful with his life but is at a loss as to how to proceed, despite having just earned a degree in engineering. Gene's quandary precipitates a discussion of the meaning of life and its connection to God's existence. This in turn leads to vigorous debates about morality and theism, evidence forand against God's existence, probability and the rationality of belief, and the relationship between faith and reason. The strongest arguments from all three perspectives are fairly represented. An annotated list of suggested readings directs readers to relevant and helpful primary sources. Assuming no background knowledge, The God Dialogues is ideal for courses in the philosophy of religion, an excellent supplement for introduction to philosophy courses, and a compelling introduction for anyone with an interest in the subject.

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The God Dialogues is an intriguing and extensive philosophical debate about the existence of God. Engaging and accessible, it covers all the main arguments for and against God's existence, from traditional philosophical "proofs" to arguments that involve the latest developments in biology andphysics. Three main characters represent the...

Torin Alter is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama. Robert J. Howell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern Methodist University. They are the coauthors of A Dialogue on Consciousness (OUP, 2008).

other books by Torin Alter

Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019539559X

ISBN - 13:9780195395594

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Outside BostonSearching for MeaningAtheism, Agnosticism, and TheismThe Argument from MoralityThe Euthyphro QuestionLimits on God's PowerGood as Part of the Divine NatureAngels, Devils, and Knowing Which is WhichThe Meaning of What?2. Niagara, New YorkThe Grandeur of the FallsPaley's Argument from AnalogyThe Argument from DesignCreation vs. ChanceCreation vs. EvolutionNatural Selection and ChanceThe Support for EvolutionThe Challenge of Irreducible ComplexityAssessing ProbabilitiesThe Panda's Thumb3. From Niagara to ChicagoThe Argument from LifeArguing from IgnoranceScientific Progress on the Origins of LifeThe Argument from ConsciousnessThe Probability of Life's EmergenceThe Limits of ScienceThe Fine-Tuning ArgumentSelection BiasThe Multiple-Universes HypothesisThe Belief in Our Own SpecialnessThe Problem of Prior ProbabilitiesA Finely-Tuned God4. Chicago, Illinois, outside the Adler PlanetariumThe Provocative PlanetariumThe Cosmological Argument, First PassThe Big BangA Contradiction in the PremisesAnother PassThe Principle of Sufficient ReasonQuantum IndeterminacyInfinite Pasts and Infinite BeingsThe Double StandardThe Argument from ContingencyDivine FreedomMore Double StandardsThe Burden of Proof and the Missing Keys5. Chicago, Illinois, in the HotelThe Ontological ArgumentAnselm and the FoolPlaces of the MindGod and the Representation of GodDreaming of ElvisGaunilo's Perfect IslandKant's DiagnosisPossible Worlds and the Necessity of GodThe Impossibility of GodImagination and Possibility6. Somewhere in IowaThe Ghost of Shoeless JoeTestimony and MiraclesThe Bible as AuthorityOther AuthoritiesReligious ExperienceExperience and EvidenceThe Psychology of Religious ExperienceExplaining ExperienceHume on Miracles7. Holcomb, KansasMurder, from Kansas to Kitty GenoveseThe Problem of EvilOmniomniomniThe Free Will ResponseCircumventing FreedomThe Problem of Natural DisastersDark Clouds and Silver LiningsThe Dependence of Good on EvilThe World as a Moral Proving GroundEvil in the Big PictureThe Ship, The Captain, and the Grounds of Reasonable Belief8. Las Vegas, NevadaPascal's WagerPrudential vs. Evidential ReasonsThe Possibility and Legitimacy of Prudential BeliefDominance and the Case for Gun OwnershipThe Many-Gods Objection9. CaliforniaThe Weight of Combined ArgumentsKierkegaard and Heroic Leaps of FaithThe Dangers of FaithAlternative Conceptions of GodReligion as MetaphorThe Dangers of MetaphorFaith and Moral DisagreementThe Golden Gate