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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 8, 2006

Philosophy of Religion

David Twetten
Pages 75-80

On Which 'God' Should Be the Target of a 'Proof of God's Existence'

Philosophers of religion debate what is meant by the word 'God,' in the conclusion of proofs of God's existence. If'God' is a proper name, there seems to be no good proof that a non-empirical entity has this name. If it is a common name, it seems that it must mean what classical theists mean by 'God' - and the existence of such a being is hard to prove. I defend a third possibility: that 'God' names a common name that is the least prescriptive possible, while being sufficient to signify one kind of thing different from all others.

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