Throughout the history of philosophy, many arguments about the
existence of God have been proposed. Some have defended theism, others
atheism, and still others agnosticism. But while philosophers have been
busy trying to determine whether or not God exists, they have often
neglected to ask: “What difference would – or
God’s existence make to the overall value of the world?” This question
is not about the putative advantages or disadvantages of some
individual or society having religious beliefs or engaging in religious
practices. It is, instead, a question about the axiological
consequences of theism. This
research project will systematically investigate various
that might be given to this profoundly important question.
say that God’s existence would make the world far better than
otherwise be. But this
is not the only possible view. Some have said
that God’s existence would make the world far worse
than it would
otherwise be, and still other answers could be given. For
example, one could hold that God’s existence would make the
far better nor far worse, or that the effects of God’s existence on the
value of the world simply cannot be determined. This project
and evaluate arguments for and against all the major positions on this
issue. In so doing, this project will also address the following
question: “How can we
tell what difference God’s existence would – or
make to the overall value of the world?” This project presupposes
neither theism, atheism, nor agnosticism.
project will support several Templeton Research Fellowships: two for
2013-2014 academic year and at least one for the 2014-2015 academic
purpose of these fellowships is to provide a year-long period of
uninterrupted research time for outstanding philosophers to pursue
ground-breaking research on any aspect(s) of this project. For more
details, see the call for applications below.
research workshop on the topic of this grant will be held during the
Winter 2015 semester. This two-day event will feature eight invited
speakers. Details to follow.
Questions about any of these initiatives may be directed to the Project Leader.
public events will be held on the topic of this grant: one during the
Winter 2014 semester and one during the Fall 2014 semester. Details to
|Call for 2014-2015 Research
purpose of this Fellowship is to provide a year-long period of
uninterrupted research time for an outstanding philosopher to pursue
ground-breaking research on any aspect(s) of this project. For details
concerning the application process, click here.
2013-2014 Templeton Research Fellows:
|Publications and Presentations:
Information about publications and presentations supported by this
grant will be posted below.
following four academic papers consider the axiological effects of
theism, and serve as good introductions to the topics to be explored by
This research project is made possible by a generous grant from the John
and by additional support from Ryerson University's Faculty
of Arts, Philosophy Department, and MA
program in Philosophy.