A theological evaluation of atheistic ontological disproofs and modern apologetic responses
Baeumont, Douglas Michal
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This paper presents an exposition and critique of various contemporary responses to atheistic “ontological disproof” arguments based on the alleged incoherency of theistic attributes. Arguments in this class seek to demonstrate either an incompatibility between multiple attributes of God, or an inconsistency within a single attribute of God. The focus of this paper is on the differences between many modern apologetic responses that utilize analytic philosophy and Anselmian perfect being theology and those available from the classical traditions of apophatic theology and analogical God-talk. Special attention is paid to theologians who are contributing to this debate and who exhibit these characterisitics to various degrees in their methodology: William Lane Craig, Thomas V. Morris, John S. Feinberg, and Richard Swinburne. The resulting theological positions of these scholars will also be examined, with attention paid to any non-traditional, unorthodox, or heretical views oin contrast to more classical, orthodox doctrines. The overall debate will then be cast in a more classical context via the thinking of Thomas Aquinas and his followers. Thomistic analogical theology will be explicated, contrasted with these modern apologists’ views, and then offered in response to atheistic ontological disproof arguments. The Thomistic system, with its apologetic strengths and more traditional theology, will be recommended as not only a viable, but a more desirable, response to such arguments.
- Theology