Religious Studies 23 (1):1 - 17 (1987)

Philosophers have tended to discuss theistic proofs largely in abstraction from their specific roles within the religious traditions in which those proofs were cultivated and in which, until modern times, they flourished. As a result, the traditional theistic proofs of the West are generally presented in the philosophical literature as no more than attempts to demonstrate or within tolerable limits to establish the probability of the existence of at least one god. Whatever the history of philosophy may suggest, the history of religions shows that theistic proofs have been developed from a variety of motives and have been employed to a variety of ends, only one of which is to persuade someone not already so inclined to believe that god/s exist. Indeed, this latter purpose is fairly subsidiary in the history of religions. A survey of the place and roles of theistic proofs and disproofs within a range of religious traditions, Eastern as well as Western, suggests that in the main they were used to serve intra-traditional ends. Their principal function seems to have been more nearly explanatory than justificatory . Even when they aimed them outside the tradition and used them to apologetic ends, purveyors of the proofs tended to assume prior belief in god/s on the part of their intended audience
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0034412500018503
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 56,949
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge.Richard H. Robinson - 1969 - Philosophy East and West 19 (1):69-81.
Doctrine and Agrument in Indian Philosophy.Karl H. Potter - 1966 - Philosophy East and West 16 (1):89-94.
A History of Islamic Philosophy.Majid Fakhry - 1973 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):255-256.
Buddhismus und Gottesidee.L. Glasenapp - 1941 - Scientia 35 (69):77.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Religions, Reasons and Gods.Nancy Frankenberry - 2009 - Faith and Philosophy 26 (1):111-113.
Different Religions, Diverse Gods.Robert S. Gall - 2001 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 49 (1):33-47.
Heidegger’s Phenomenology of the Greek Gods.Shawn Loht - 2012 - Philosophy Today 56 (4):419-33.
On the Number of Gods.Eric Steinhart - 2012 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72 (2):75-83.


Added to PP index

Total views
77 ( #129,381 of 2,409,841 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #541,271 of 2,409,841 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes