A Natural History Of Natural Theology
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt.
2015, The MIT Press
By Rob Roi
Traditionally, natural theology is the term used for the attempt to prove the existence of God and divine purpose through observation of nature and the use of human reason.
Why is religion culturally universal?
Why do our senses of order, design and beauty lead us to infer a Designer?
Helen and Johan clearly and logically join philosophy with cognitive science to provide accessible, practical answers.
This book contains an in-depth examination of the cognitive basis of natural theological arguments for the existence of God: the argument from design, the cosmological argument, the moral argument, the argument from beauty and the argument from miracles.
Using historical and contemporary versions of these arguments as they are developed by theologians, the authors go a step further: what happens to theology when the science in question is the science of theological thought itself?
In the final chapter—Natural History of Religion and the Rationality of Religious Beliefs —they state, “Some religious beliefs are properly basic, they derive their warrant from the view that God designed the human mind in such a way that it spontaneously forms these beliefs under a wide range of circumstances.”
Helen De Cruz is assistant Professor at the VU University in Amsterdam. John De Smedt is a postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University.
The Reverend Rob Roi is a parish deacon at St. James’ Dundas.