We will look at some of the major arguments for the existence of God, in both their historical forms, and in the more modern versions. This will include especially the ontological argument, the first cause argument, and the argument from design. Then we will move on to consider some of the properties traditionally attributed to God, and problems that follow therefrom. For example we shall consider His supposed simplicity, His timelessness, His omniscience (and its consequences for human freedom) and how one reconciles His goodness – or not – with the existence of evil.
The goal of the course is to draw the students into a sophisticated discussion of the topics just mentioned. After a period during which these issues were ignored by analytic philosophy, concern with them has revived on a large scale, and respect for the traditional scholastic approaches is back in fashion.