August 1, 2015
This article offers an evaluation of Climacus’ objections to the arguments for the existence of God. With one exception (the critique of the ontological argument, which seems to anticipate the contemporary logico-empiricist position), these objections are found wanting. In the first general objection, Climacus seems to jump illegitimately from the objective reality of God’s existence (or non-existence) to the subjective conviction about God’s existence (or nonexistence). In the second, one might find exceptions to Climacus’ assertion that one can never deduce the existence of persons from the facts of the palpable world. Next, the objection against the teleological argument is inconclusive, since, in my opinion, Climacus does not offer a clear structure to-or critique of-this argument. Lastly, the ethico-religious objection fails because God’s existence- even if one would accept the reality of a sensus divinitatis-is not yet transparently evident to us. Nonetheless, in Climacus’ treatment of all these objections we observe similarities with certain ideas of contemporary reformed epistemology: a skepticism with regard to natural theology, a belief in a sensus divinitatis, and a positive assessment of the role of faith as an epistemological presupposition.