An argument from Dogs to Divinity

Date: April 30, 2024

My inbox is full most days. And the vast majority are emails of some complexity, often entailing criticism about this or that. So, it was a joy to get the following email from Mr. Peter Keefe (who is a friend of the Seminary). He wrote: “I finished “Against Atheism” recently and read “Marvel at your Pet” moments ago. You did a good job of dismantling the arguments of H, H, and D in your book but the purity of the love of our dogs, Berk and Cleo, also argues persuasively for the existence of a higher power.”  H. H. and D refer to Harris, Hitchens, and Dawkins. Marvel at your Pet was an article in The Alexandria Times, which you can find here.

I love the idea that dogs are a good argument to divinity. It would be a inductive, probabilistic argument – the complexity of dogs and their complexity for relationships are evidence that the universe desires such qualities as loving relationships grounded in a diversity of species that in turn points to an agency of purpose and direction in this universe that values these qualities, which theists rightly call God. I think I am persuaded. And I am grateful to Peter to bringing this argument to my attention.

The Very Rev Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary


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