Natural theology and naturalist atheology

Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Natural theology has always had to contend with the argument from evil. The evil around us seemingly supports a deductive argument for the conclusion that there is no God of the sort affirmed by theology. More recently, natural theology has faced new problems, or old problems with a new urgency. Darwin, for example, showed how evolutionary design rivals Divine design, endangering the important Argument from Design. Suppose certain phenomena admit two rival, independent explanations. Any such explanation no better than its rival is insufficiently supported thereby. Theology had proposed Divine design as an explanation of the order around us. Evolutionary theory offers now a rival explanation that purports to be at least as good while independent of Divine agency. Both of these attacks are “direct.” They both confront theology directly on its own ground, by countering its theses in one of two ways. One way is by direct refutation of a theological proposition: The evil we see leaves no rational room for an omnipotent, fully benevolent God. The other way attacks, rather, the cogency of theology's rational support: by arguing, for example, that Divine agency is no longer needed to explain the order of things. Although both of these attacks are direct, the first is more direct, since it clashes frontally with the theological proposition that there is a God. From the premise that there is evil, it concludes that there is no God. The second attack is not frontal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlvin Plantinga
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages93-106
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780511611247
ISBN (Print)0521855314, 9780521855310
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

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Deity
Evolutionary
Naturalists
Rivals
Natural Theology
Theology
Naturalism
Attack
Evil
Divine Agency
Argument from Design
Refutation
Deductive Argument
Evolutionary Theory
Problem of Evil
Order of Things

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

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Natural theology and naturalist atheology : Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism. / Sosa, Ernest.

Alvin Plantinga. Cambridge University Press, 2007. p. 93-106.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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