The Enduring Appeal of Natural Theological Arguments

Philosophy Compass 9 (2):145-153 (2014)
Abstract
Natural theology is the branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to gain knowledge of God through non-revealed sources. In a narrower sense, natural theology is the discipline that presents rational arguments for the existence of God. Given that these arguments rarely directly persuade those who are not convinced by their conclusions, why do they enjoy an enduring appeal? This article examines two reasons for the continuing popularity of natural theological arguments: (i) they appeal to intuitions that humans robustly hold and that emerge early in cognitive development; (ii) they serve an argumentative function by presenting particular religious views as live options. I conclude with observations on the role of natural theology in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion
Keywords Natural theology  Design argument  Intuitions
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12105
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References found in this work BETA
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1991 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.David Hume - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophical Review. Blackwell. pp. 338-339.
Creationism and its Critics in Antiquity.D. N. Sedley - 2008 - University of California Press.

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