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Against the New Atheism: A Defence of Salvation-Sensitive Exclusivism

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In the last decade, there have been several publications and articles by academics (especially Dawkins, Dennett, and Harris), attacking the rationale behind religious belief through the presupposition of scientism. According to these ‘New Atheists,' science has largely buried God, and, therefore, all human knowledge should be viewed through a scientific mind-set. Despite this, in the last half-century, we have arguably witnessed a rejuvenation in Christian thinking, especially in the works of Plantinga and Craig, who continue to argue that belief in God is reasonable. Hence, I intend to assess these two assertions by examining what I take to be the most powerful arguments for and against God’s existence: the moral argument, the fine-tuning argument, the problem of pluralism, and the problem of evil. Here I draw on the contemporary literature surrounding matters of theology, ontology, epistemology, and cosmology. In general, I argue for a limited defence of Christian theism called Salvation-Sensitive Exclusivism (SSE). I support this by claiming that the moral and fine-tuning arguments point to the existence of a morally excellent being and designer of the universe. Moreover, I conclude that neither the threat of pluralism nor the presence of evil provide a good reason to reject SSE.

Publication Date Jul 1, 2018
Keywords Moral Truths. Fine-tuning. Exclusivism. Salvation. Suffering.


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