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God, Reason and Theistic Proofs (Reason & Religion) (Reason and Religion) Paperback – 1 Jul 1997

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press (1 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0748607994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748607990
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,535,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This clear, brisk and well-informed treatment of the arguments for the existence of God is much to be recommended to students and the educated general reader...all in all, it is very good to see traditional philosophy of religion being pursued in such a sane, perspicuous and balanced way. This clear, brisk and well-informed treatment of the arguments for the existence of God is much to be recommended to students and the educated general reader...all in all, it is very good to see traditional philosophy of religion being pursued in such a sane, perspicuous and balanced way.

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A theistic proof is an attempt to prove, by argument, that God exists. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Clarke on 17 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
A truly excellent work. At one time I was an atheist doing A-Level philosophy. I had to read this book as part of my studies. I tried to resist his logic, but in the end I was convinced that God does indeed exist and that it can be rationally demonstrated.
This book is undoubtedly the best text-book on the Classic arguments for God's existence. He shows that each of them is highly logical and succeeds to some degree. Davis even manages to rescue the much despised Ontological Argument. The book also looks into the epistemelogical background of the proofs. I particularly found helpful his chapter on Reformed Epistemenology, which argues that the proofs are compatible with this philosophy.
My only complaint is that he is that he fails to recognise the value of Malcome's re-statement of the Ontological Argument.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 0 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Decent. Not great, not terrible. 22 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Davis offers a largely sympathetic overview of arguments for the existence of god and common objections to them. The book is good as far as it goes, but Davis has an unfortunate tendency to lean heavily on personal intuition when the issues become the most difficult, and hence the most interesting. This is disappointing, because Davis is obviously intelligent enough to have done much more. Had he sought more carefully to identify the reasons underlying his intuitions, the book would surely have been a five-star effort. I enjoyed the book, and do not at all regret having spent time reading it, but I hoped for much more.
Great for beginners, but you will need help 14 Mar. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
When I studied philosophy on the graduate level, theistic proofs of the existence of God were considered unworthy of serious study, unless you studied them to understand Kant or Hume's problems with them, They were seen as artifacts of the past; medieval formulas which the age of reason had firmly overturned.

While reading Stephen T. Davis' God, Reason, & Theistic Proofs, I now realize that those rational proofs of God were straw men, created by philosophers simply to topple. Modern thinkers still engage in theistic proofs of God's existence; they continue to generate new versions of the old theories to meet contemporary demands.

In general, Davis does a good job at explaining the three main rational proofs of God's existence: the Ontological Argument, the Cosmological Argument, and the Teleological, or the Argument from Design. Davis is trying to teach us the basics of these arguments, and tries to stay away from professional jargon. But he does engage in jargon based writing at times, making this book slightly difficult for a rank beginner.

I would suggest reading this book and then watching some of the fine demonstrations on YouTube by William Lane Craig.

Davis investigates other proofs of God's existence that are not strictly rational, and this muddies the pond a bit. He also examines things out of order, like the Kalam Cosmological proof in the latter half of the book. It would have been better if he kept them all in the same coral.

This is a good book to read for an introduction to this difficult topic. But you will need outside help.
Very fair-minded 26 Nov. 2009
By unkleE - Published on
Format: Paperback
Many years after I first read this book, I still think it is the best treatment of the subject I have seen. The author is a professor of philosophy, he is very fair-minded (he is a theist, from memory, but he does not allow that to sway his philosophical judgment), he presents the arguments in a very structured and thorough but also clear way (if it hadn't been clear, I as very much a layman, would not have understood it!) and it is easy to agree with his cautious conclusions. I have not read another book, by believer or non-believer, that I thought had all these qualities. I recommend it.

He covers a number of the classic arguments - ontological (which gets a fairer treatment than I would have given it!), cosmological, design, religious experience, moral, etc, plus he addresses interesting core issues such as religious realism, foundationalism (plus coherentism & pragmatism as alternatives) and the principle of sufficient reason, all in ways and at places where they are relevant to the main discussion and relatively easy to understand.

His conclusion? He thinks the "proofs" can show at least that theism is rational, and possibly more rational than alternatives, but he doesn't think any proof actually proves the existence of God. That is probably what we might expect, leaving the questions open for each of us to decide for ourselves.
God, Reason and Theistic Proofs 9 Nov. 2011
By T. Eldridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
God, Reason and Theistic Proofs is a discussion on the various philosophical arguments given in favour of religious belief. This includes both direct arguments that theists offer as proofs of the existence of God- eg: Various versions of the cosmological argument- but also includes more general arguments in favour of religious belief, such as Pascal's Wager.

Stand alone chapters can be read on various arguments, and interspersed between these chapters are discussions on more foundational issues in the philosophy of religion such as foundationalism vs reformed epistemology and religious realism vs non realism.
Excellent Primer 29 Feb. 2012
By Angela Garcia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent Primer for those just beginning their journey into Natural Theology- I'd highly reccommend this book before reading something like "In Defense of Natural Theology", which is also an excellent work, but not necessarily for beginners.
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