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Philosophy never seems to debate multiple Gods like the Vikings and the ancient Greeks had as well as Hinduism. These could be dismissed as silly, discredited ideas except Hinduism still has numerous believers. It seems no more ridiculous to me than the Father, Son and Holy Ghost scenario. Why is monotheism alone debated by religious Western philosophers? (Atheist ones will only consider a Prime Mover or Argument from Design creator but why is this? Is it because of over 2000 years of Abrahamic Gods, messiahs, and prophets with the attendant respectability these, believers would say, bestow?)

Two small additions to Prof. Stairs' answer. First, it is interesting to note that even the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, most of them anyway, although 'officially' polytheistic, generally just talk about one 'god'. That is, their philosophical inquiries push them towards monotheism, rather than monotheism pushing them towards a certain type of philosophy. Second, some recent philosophers have investigated the philosophical significance of ancient polytheism. Most famously, perhaps, Nietzsche, with the account of Apollo and Dionysus in his 'The Birth of Tragedy'. This is one example of a 19th and 20th Century trend (including Schelling, Bachelard and Heidegger) to interpret what we often now consider 'mythology', or the four substances of ancient science, as an embodiment, articulation and even exploration of philosophical ideas. The philosophical issues that arise in this way will be quitedifferent, of course. Arguments for the existence of gods, or problemsin the conception of...

What makes god, GOD? or in other words: what gives "him" authority? Is it the fact that he "knows all", or the fact that he can "create", or the lack thereof?

Two points of clarification. In my response above, I am certainlynot endorsing Kant's solution, and I apologise if my wording gave that impression. Rather, I was giving his argument as an example of how some philosophers reply to the very fine question 'What makes God, GOD?'. That is, I am claiming that his versionof the moral argument is philosophically interesting in that it triesto avoid the problem that Professor Antony and I both believebedevils (so to speak) the traditional arguments. It does this bytrying to show that faith is entailed by, and indeed incorporatedwithin, moral action. Does Kant's argument work? Well, it certainlydoesn't threaten my atheism -- but it is certainly also not'tortured' in the manner Professor Antony suggests. (On the point ofthe supposed contradiction between moral and atheistic beliefs seethe end of sec. 87 of Kant's Critique of Judgement .) I should also clarify what Imeant by 'in the sphere of faith'. Historically, when Anselmdeveloped the ontological...
As we know, there are a small number oftraditional arguments, and many hundreds of variations, that purportto prove the existence of a perfect, necessary or all-creating being.What is sometimes glossed over in presentations of these arguments isthe last step, which must be something like 'we have proved the existenceof X, and X is the being that we call “God”'. This last stepinvolves more than just attaching a name to something. Rather, it isarguing that the properties of X are such that X must be deemed to'have authority' as you put it above; that is, a being that should beworshiped, obeyed, or whatever. Now, if the properties of X are thatof an all-powerful, all-creating or perhaps all-knowing being, doesour concept of this being demand worship? That is, even were I to accept theexistence of a being matching this description, with what force doesit follow that I also accept this being's authority? These problemsconfront the philosophy of religion when it deals with thetraditional arguments, and...

Is the question of whether God (or a god) can be posited as the 'designer' of the universe related in any way to the question of whether we can know anything about an author from studying their books?

The two questions you name are often taken to be analogous. The analogy is structured something like a designing God is to the designed universe as an author is to the book she writes . Accordingly, the history of such thoughts contains phrases such as 'the author of our being' or 'the book of nature'. Of course, the analogy need not be with a book, it could be any act of making: blacksmiths, potters (because of the 'clay' in Genesis), and so forth. Such an analogy is generally considered quite weak, depending upon anthropomorphic identifications. Your question, though, addresses a slightly different point. It is frequently argued by various literary theorists that the inference from a novel (say) to something about its author is invalid. Several schools of theorists make similar such points -- formalists, new critics, new historians, poststructuralists -- though for different reasons. It should be pointed out, however, that not all theorists of literature agree here. I doubt, for example,...

In relation to the debate raging in the US about evolution and Intelligent Design, I would like to know whether positing the existence and prior activity of an intelligent designer is a scientific or a philosophical question. Is it scientifically conceivable that the existence of a designer and of things having come about purposefully as opposed to randomly could ever be deduced from available or putative evidence?

If I may add one additional point to the ones already given: there is an all important difference between an intelligent designer that is a human being or an advanced alien civilisation, and an intelligent designer that is divine. The former could have evidence in its favour, and could be the object of scientific enquiry at least in principle . (We could in principle meet the aliens and ask them 'why did you make tigers?') The latter could not. The reason is contained in some of the arguments that Hume and Kant put forth against the classic arguments for the existence of a God. Namely, that the act of a divine being upon nature (a miracle) could not provide evidence for the being's divinity .