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John Hick's Arguments for the Existence of God PDF

By John Hick

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Extra resources for Arguments for the Existence of God

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Can we, for example, simply count points for and against? Can we say that there are, say, ten items of prima facie evidence in favour of theism and eight against, so that theism wins by two points; or vice versa? Clearly no such mechanical procedure will do, for the conflicting considerations do not form units of equal weight. Can we perhaps however place each item in its position on an evidential scale in which, without being assigned numerical value, they are nevertheless listed in order of importance?

Now anything in process of change is being changed by something else. This is so because it is characteristic of things in process of change that they do not yet have the perfection towards which they move, though able to have it; whereas it is characteristic of something causing change to have that perfection already. For to cause change is to bring into being what was previously only able to be, and this can only be done by something that already is: thus fire, which is actually hot, causes wood, which is able to be hot, to become actually hot, and in this way causes change in the wood.

There are yet other factors which are not so manifestly evidential as those already mentioned but which seem nevertheless to fit rather more readily into one conception than the other. For example, moral experience finds readier hospitality within a religious metaphysic, whilst on the other hand the vastness of the physical universe and the insignificant place occupied in it by man can more immediately be assimilated into a naturalistic world-view. Now none of these factors or of the indefinitely many others that could be added to them points so unequivocally in a particular direction as to admit of only one possible explanation.

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