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Logic and Theism

Jordan Howard Sobel (Cambridge University Press: Apr 9, 2009), 676 pages.

This book includes arguments for and against belief in God. The arguments for the belief are analyzed in the first six chapters and include ontological arguments from Anselm through Gödel; the cosmological arguments of Aquinas and Leibniz; and arguments from evidence for design and miracles. The next two chapters consider arguments against belief. The last chapter examines Pascalian arguments for and against belief in God. This book is a valuable resource for philosophers of religion and theologians and interests logicians and mathematicians as well. ~ Publisher’s Description

Filled with new, interesting, and insightful observations and analyses … a book everyone interested in philosophy of religion will want — and need — to read.” ~ Graham Oppy, Monash University • “I’m often asked to recommend books on philosophy of religion from a skeptical point of view, and Mackie’s The Miracle of Theism has been the only thing I could wholeheartedly endorse. Sobel’s book would give me a second option. It’s the best thing of its kind since Mackie’s book, and in many respects, it’s better than The Miracle of Theism.” ~ Robert C. Koons, University of Texas, Austin • “This book is a rich resource for those interested in the traditional arguments for and against belief in God’s existence … the book is valuable not so much for the author’s own conclusions in each chapter, as it is for the rich resource it constitutes … the author has done a great service by assembling different versions of arguments for and against God’s existence, by discussing the arguments intelligently and critically … I suspect that many philosophers of religion, both theists and sceptics, will be responding to the particular arguments of this book for some time to come.” ~ Ars Disputandi

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • I    ‘God’, ‘god’, and God    3
    • II    Classical Ontological Arguments    29
    • App. A    Symbols and symbolizations    70
    • App. B    Derivations and models    71
    • App. C    Rules of inference and forms of derivations    78
    • III    Modern Modal Ontological Arguments    81
    • App. A    ‘Possible worlds’    99
    • App. B    Modal logic    105
    • IV    Kurt Godel’s Ontologischer Beweis    115
    • App. A    Notes in Kurt Godel’s hand    144
    • App. B    Notes in Dana Scott’s hand    145
    • App. C    Mainly derivations    146
    • V    First Causes: “The Second Way”    168
    • App. A    Notes on Aquinas’s other ways    195
    • App. B    Bangs and infinite regresses of causes    198
    • VI    Ultimate Reasons: Proofs a contingentia mundi    200
    • App. A    Leibniz’s problem with necessity    228
    • App. B    Contingency in John Leslie’s Axiarchism    233
    • App. C    Robert C. Koons’s ‘New Look’ cosmological argument    234
    • VII    Look ‘Round! – Arguments from Design    238
    • App    Swinburne’s teleological arguments, and his cumulative argument, for the existence of God    288
    • VIII    Clouds of Witnesses – “Of Miracles”    298
    • App. A    A proof of Hume’s theorem    331
    • App. B    Condorcet’s rule, witness reliability, and ‘last degrees of assurance’    333
    • IX    Romancing the Stone    345
    • App    A formal articulation of the argument of Section 5    367
    • X    ‘God Knows (Go Figure)’    369
    • App    Notes on Cantorian set theory    394
    • XI    Atheologies, Demonstrative and Evidential    401
    • App    Promised derivations    432
    • XII    The Logical Problem of Evil    436
    • App. A    On alleged incompatibilities of divine omniscience and freedom    479
    • App. B    A deduction in Section 2.2.3 spelled out    494
    • XIII    Pascalian Wagers    499
    • App    Hyperreals and decision theory    532
    • Notes    539
    • References    630
    • Index of Names    647