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date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by defining natural theology in analytical philosophy, and next considers analytical philosophers's rejection of natural theology and the rise of analytical theism. The focus then turns to one of the most prominent arguments debated in recent discussions of natural theology, the so-called fine-tuning argument (FTA). The FTA is a sophisticated version of the traditional argument to design, one that appeals to the apparent ‘fine tuning’ of the fundamental constants of nature, such as the gravitational constant, such that even a minute variation in these values would not have permitted the development in our universe of complex forms of life or, a fortiori, intelligent and sentient creatures. The chapter first presents a statement of the argument by two of its defenders – William Lane Craig and Robin Collins – and then looks at criticisms by such philosophers as Robin Le Poidevin and Graham Oppy. It concludes by asking whether the recent debates among analytic philosophers of religion have really advanced the case for natural theology.

Keywords: analytical philosophers, analytical theism, religion, fine-tuning argument, nature, William Lane Craig, Robin Collins, Robin Le Poidevin, Graham Oppy

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