Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning (2001)
The book falls into four segments. In the first (Chapter 1), the particular conception of deity that has been predominant in western civilization—the theistic idea of God—is explicated and distinguished from several other notions of the divine. The second segment considers the major reasons that have been advanced in support of the belief that the theistic God exists. In chapters 2 through 4 the three major arguments for the existence of God are discussed, arguments which appeal to facts supposedly available to any rational person, whether religious or not. Chapter 5 considers religious and mystical experience as a source and justification for theistic belief. And in Chapter 6 we examine the role that faith may play in the formation and justification of religious belief. We also consider the important issue of whether belief in God may be entirely rational quite apart from any evidence in its behalf. The third segment undertakes an examination of the problem of evil, which some have thought to provide rational grounds for atheism, the belief that the theistic God does not exist. A number of topics quite central to theistic religion are considered in the fourth segment of the book, chapters 8 through 11. These topics include miracles, the question of life after death, problems in relating the idea of divine foreknowledge to the belief in human freedom, and problems arising from the existence of diverse religions.