God: A brief philosophical introduction II
by K.H.A. Esmail (University of Cambridge)
This is a clear and original investigation of God's nature and existence.
First of all, it considers two of God’s traditional properties: being all-knowing and being all-powerful. It argues he cannot possess these properties. But, it argues this is in accord with him being worthy of worship.
Secondly, it introduces the notion of evil being “overridden”. It argues he has to bring about other free living things and it is plausible they have to be liable to experience evil due to their conditions. But, it argues the evil in this world is “overridden”.
Thirdly, it considers the principal arguments for the claim he does not exist. (They refer to the evil in the world.) It argues they do not establish sufficient grounds for this claim.
Finally, it considers some well-known arguments for the claim he exists. It argues they face difficulties. It sets out other arguments: eg, some arguments to increase any degree of belief one has that God can exist.
It includes a number of Appendices: God’s sovereignty; Are there sufficient grounds for the claim that, very probably, God does not exist?; Theodicy and some theodicies; ....
It covers as a whole the principal parts of the Philosophy of Religion.
It unifies these parts to a significant degree. It proceeds regularly by way of formal and clear arguments.
It will be of interest to advanced students and specialists in Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology.
Given its explanation of key terms, its jargon-free language, its clarity and brevity.... , it will be of interest to others, too.
1. The Nature of God
An all-knowing or omniscient thing and God’s knowledge
An all-powerful or omnipotent thing and God’s power
2. Evil being overridden & God bringing about a particular kind of universe
Evil states of affairs and an evil state of affairs being overridden
God bringing about a particular kind of universe
God bringing about a particular kind of universe and evil being overridden in it
An observation on God bringing about this particular kind of universe and a moral theory
3. The Existence of God
Are there sufficient grounds for the claim that God does not exist?
God and Evil
The principal arguments for the claim that God does not exist
Alvin Plantinga’s response in The Nature of Necessity
4. The Existence of God
Are there sufficient grounds for the claim that God exists?
Some Ontological arguments Anselm
Some Design arguments
Some Cosmological arguments
An argument from the religious experience of God
Evil being overridden and some discussions of God and evil
Some of the moral and other features of God bringing about a particular kind of universe and God being morally perfect
Are there sufficient grounds for the claim that, very probably, God does not exist?
Theodicy and some theodicies
Dr.K.H.A.Esmail is a Course Director and Tutor (Philosophy & Religious Studies), Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge.