By: Jay Dyer
When considering the question of “proofs” for the existence of God, the history of argumentation has often been lacking. The dialectical relationship of the empirical/materialist tradition debating with the idealist/Platonic tradition is a perennial feature of the history of western philosophy. Modern “New Atheists,” for example, are eager to pounce on flaws in the so-called “classical proofs,” as if these were the b-all, end-all of the question of rational certainty for the divine.
The chief problems with the “classical proofs” are that: 1) They do not prove what they set out to prove insofar as they are (classically) based on an empirical theological method that stems primarily from Aquinas, 2) The arguments themselves are non sequitur, where the starting points of the proofs do not logically necessitate the conclusions, and 3) The philosophical and theological assumptions implicit in the arguments are…
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