Antony Eagle

Antony Eagle

God, Faith, and Infinity

Most people, historically and today, have religious beliefs of one kind or another. Those beliefs are often deeply important to their holders, providing a framework for their entire worldview. God, Faith, and Infinity is a 12-week upper level course in which we investigate philosophical views on the nature and existence of God, and the rationality of religious belief.

Information about the course as delivered at Adelaide can be found in the Course Outline.


The richest tradition in analytic philosophy of religion focuses on the monotheistic Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity, but also Islam and Judaism), which share similar conceptions of the role and nature of God. We will explore the main arguments that have been offered in this tradition for and against the existence of God, as well as questions about the rationality of religious faith and the nature of divine knowledge and power.

This course is structured into three main units each with a distinct topical focus. The course begins with an introduction to our main guiding conception of God: that God is a perfect being whose existence and nature are open to rational enquiry. We then move on to the first main Part of the course: examining arguments that such a God exists. In the second Part of the course, we look in a bit more detail at what God could be like: specifically at whether God is all-powerful and all-knowing. In the final Part, we turn to questions about religious belief: can it be rational to believe in God – even if the evidence is inconclusive, or even if other apparently reasonable people disagree? At the very end, we look at some other approaches to religious traditions – specifically, whether we ought instead understand talk of God non-literally.

I make no claim to innovation in this selection of topics or methods, and the syllabus is very male and pale, though I hope not wholly stale. It would be fair to say there is little here on world religions; for that matter, there’s little here even on the rich scriptural traditions of Abrahamic monotheisms. The course certainly betrays the fact it often has to do double duty in our small department as an surrogate for courses in metaphysics and epistemology. I welcome any feedback on the materials, as well as thoughts on omissions and ideas for additions.

Lecture notes

  1. Introduction
    1. Perfect Being Theism: html notes | pdf slides
  2. The Existence of God
    1. Classic philosophical arguments for God’s existence: html notes | pdf slides
    2. Arguments from Design: html notes | pdf slides
    3. The Argument from Evil: html notes | pdf slides
    4. God and Morality: html notes | pdf slides
  3. The Divine Attributes
    1. Omnipotence: html notes | pdf slides
    2. Omniscience and Freedom: html notes | pdf slides
  4. The Rationality of Faith
    1. Pascal’s Wager: html notes | pdf slides
    2. The Ethics of Belief: html notes | pdf slides
    3. The Rationality of Faith: html notes | pdf slides
    4. The Significance of Religious Disagreement: html notes | pdf slides
  5. Conclusion: Interpreting Religious Language
    1. Talking About God: html notes | pdf slides

God, Faith, and Infinity by Antony Eagle is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0