Document Type


Publication Title

The Midwest Quarterly





First Page



Publication Date

Fall 1986


Charles Hartshorne challenges the supposed truism that one cannot prove, or at least cannot make a strong rational argument for, the existence of God. Hartshorne makes at least four advances on previous efforts. First, he employs a "global" or multiple argument strategy, also known as a cumulative case, and thus he does not require any single argument to do all the work for theism. Second, he insists that the issue of God's existence is conceptual, not empirical, and thereby he avoids the trap of thinking that God must be a hypothesis in science. Third, he uses position matrices to emphasize the exhaustive options where theistic and atheistic metaphysics are concerned and thereby he highlights the rational cost of denying the existence of God. Finally, he develops a concept of God according to which there is a two-way interaction between God and the creatures, where God is the supreme but not the sole creator, and thereby he places theism closer to what is arguably its religious meaning and avoids the worst aspects of the problem of evil.

Included in

Philosophy Commons


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