Having finished my series of discussions on Jordan Howard Sobel's Logic and Theism, I thought I should post some concluding thoughts. The parts of Sobel's book I found most interesting were his discussions of a variety of ontological and cosmological arguments for the existence of God. His book is quite thorough (as it should be, given its length) and, in general, I think his evaluations are careful and fair. I, of course, have found plenty of occasions to disagree with him. However, I found his discussions consistently interesting and well-informed, and never simply dismissive of opponents. He chooses his opponents well, and takes their arguments seriously.
The main flaw of Sobel's book, in my opinion, is that he can't decide whether he is writing a textbook or a monograph. As a result, the level of philosophical competence and background he assumes varies widely from one portion of the book to another. Still, I think this would be an excellent text for an advanced introduction to philosophy of religion. It begins with a helpful discussion of the foundational question of what is at stake in debates about belief in God, then proceeds to survey and evaluate the main arguments on both sides of the question. This is done with rigor, precision, and fairness. Sobel also finds space for interesting discussions of two important traditional divine attributes, omnipotence and omniscience.
A complete list of my posts about Sobel and his book is available here.Posted by Kenny at April 1, 2011 3:31 PM
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