Does God exist? And can this be proved to the satisfaction of a non-believer, or even the doubter in myself? This unit looks at how philosophers – from Plato’s time to ours – have sought to answer these questions. It explores traditional moves, such as ontological and cosmological proofs, Leibniz’ argument and Pascal’s wager, as well as more recent discussion, including the intelligent design argument, and Richard Dawkins’ characterisation of this and other proofs as “deluded”. Gradually, great philosophers – Aquinas and Descartes, Hume and Kant – are seen to shine within an ongoing quest, to which we ourselves might be drawn: the search for a God whom philosophy can persuasively defend, but never enclose.

Unit Code: AP3850P

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit Discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Analyse and assess arguments comprising various traditional proofs for God’s existence


Expand knowledge of particular proofs to encompass reasoning patterns or "types" which those proofs identify


Construct and/or critique modern versions of the traditional proofs


Sustain reasoned debate on the question of whether a given philosophical proof enhances faith claims for God’s existence


Reflect at meta-level on the question of the philosophical meaning of "proof" when applied to the question of divine existence

Unit sequence

15 points in Philosophy at Level 2


Lectures and Tutorials; Online module with guided online discussion fora.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Essay (2500 words)

0 50.0

Essay (2500 words)

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Jan, 2001

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-04 11:53:27 +1100