God Without the Supernatural: A Defense of Scientific Theism

Front Cover
Cornell University Press, 1996 - Religion - 256 pages
0 Reviews
Peter Forrest expounds a program of best-explanation apologetics. He contends that since the existence of God would provide the best possible explanation of various facts, those facts support theism. Among the facts cited are the suitability of the universe for life, the regularity of the universe, the human capacity for intellectual progress, the experience of a moral order, and various forms of beauty. The beauty that interests Forrest as evidence for the existence of God includes sensuous beauty; the beauty of the natural order, as revealed by the sciences; and the beauty of necessity discovered by mathematicians.
In addressing the need for an adequate motive for creation, Forrest conjectures that God created the universe for embodied persons not for their life on earth alone but also for an afterlife. Forrest acknowledges the speculative nature of such an account. He suggests that philosophical speculation is also required to defend theism against the charge that it is too extravagant a hypothesis to be warranted. Providing a speculative defense against the argument from evil, he explains how such speculations can be used to support best-explanation arguments without the conclusions themselves being rendered purely speculative.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Apologetics of Understanding
7
The Theocentric Understanding of Life
46
The Naturalistic Understanding of Life
88
What Is the Argument for Naturalism?
89
A Proposal Derived from Hume
91
Anthropic Explanations
93
Scientific Plenitude
97
Explanation by Means of Laws
98
Appearances
169
Consciousness
172
The Unity of the Mental
175
Unrestricted Consciousness
177
PhysicalismThe Hard Case
179
Substance DualismThe Easy Case
181
Attribute Dualism
183
The No Planning Thesis
185

The Inevitable Limitation of Scientific Explanation
100
The Appeal to Simplicity
103
Necessitarianism
104
The Comparison of Theocentric with Naturalistic Understanding
106
The Conservation of Mass Energy
107
The Breadth of Theocentric Understanding no 1 The Regularity of the Universe
110
Naturalistic Accounts of Laws of Nature
115
Our Capacity for Intellectual Progress
117
Understanding Moral Supremacy
121
The Resilience of Moral Supremacy
126
Further Discussion of Moral Supremacy
129
The Understanding of Beauty
133
The Serendipity of Mathematics
136
The Case against Naturalism
138
Nonnaturalistic Rivals to Anthropic Theism
139
Pantheism and Polytheism
141
The Rejection of Metaphysical Plenitude
143
Evaluative Understanding
149
Against Idealistic Understanding
154
A God of Malice?
157
Art for Arts Sake?
159
The Conditional Superiority of Theocentric Understanding
162
The Theoretical Niche Argument
163
The Idea of a Theoretical Niche
164
Physicalism as an Attempt at Understanding
166
The Functionalist Characterization of Mental States
168
Knowledge of the Possible
187
Speculating about Consciousness
191
A Solution to the Correlation Problem
193
The Unity of the Mental
196
To What Category Does Consciousness Belong?
198
Of What Is There Consciousness?
201
Generalizing the Principle of Harmony
203
Theistic Eudemonism
204
But Is Unrestricted Consciousness the Same as God?
208
The PointofView Problem
210
A Speculative Understanding of Evil
213
Should We Seek to Understand Evil?
214
Plenitude Theodicy
216
The Minor Adjustment Argument
219
On Divine Intervention
221
Plenitude Care and Respect
223
SoulMaking Theodicy
231
Panentheism and the Problem of Evil
233
Concluding Remarks
237
Compromise versus Commitment
238
The Amphibious Character of Faith
239
My Project in Context
241
Works Cited
243
Index
251
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1996)

Peter Forrest is Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia.

Bibliographic information