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Are Philosophical Proofs of the Existence of God Theologically Meaningful?

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Chapter Summary

Proofs of the existence of God have comprised the border area between philosophy and theology. They combine philosophy's concern for certainty with theology's concern for God. As a theologian, this chapter shows how the three proofs of the existence of God (ontological, teleological, cosmological), outlined by Immanuel Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, are theologically meaningful statements if one reinterprets them within the context of theology and abandons the hope that they are or can ever be philosophically convincing. The author has chosen Kant's outline of these three proofs for two reasons. First, his outline has become so commonplace that it is quickly recognizable, even though the author uses it differently than he did. Second, by using his outline of the proofs, the author attempts to answer his charge that they have no necessary connection with our understanding of experience.

Keywords: cosmological argument; God; Immanuel Kant; ontological argument; philosophical proofs; teleological argument



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