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“Theistic Arguments as Grounded in Natural Signs”

October 24, 2008

C. Stephen Evans will be joining us for next week’s Symposium. Here’s an abstract of his paper:

“This paper argues that there are “natural signs” for God that make it possible to have knowledge of God’s reality.  The concept of a natural sign is taken from Thomas Reid’s theory of perception, though the theistic natural signs differ in some ways from Reidian natural signs.  Theistic natural signs are both widely available and easily resistible; humans have native, in-built dispositions to recognize them, but our ability to “read” and interpret them properly is greatly influenced by experience and other beliefs.  Natural signs lie at the core of many of the classical theistic arguments, and recognizing this helps us understand both why the arguments continue to have appeal even if they fail as conclusive proofs.  The claim of contemporary psychology that humans are “hard-wired” to believe in God or gods is discussed as evidence for this account of religious knowledge.”

Good deal!

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