Spirituality

Download A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why by David G. Myers PDF

By David G. Myers

ISBN-10: 0470290277

ISBN-13: 9780470290279

A pleasant Letter to Skeptics and Atheists is helping readers—both secular and religious—appreciate their universal flooring. For these whose pondering has moved from the non secular thesis to the skeptical antithesis (or vice versa), Myers bargains tips that could a science-respecting Christian synthesis. He exhibits how skeptics and folks of religion can percentage a dedication to cause, facts, and important considering, whereas additionally embracing a religion that helps human flourishing—by making experience of the universe, giving aspiring to lifestyles, connecting us in supportive groups, mandating altruism, and delivering wish within the face of adversity and demise.

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The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio illustrates this point with the case of one man who lost his ability to experience emotion after surgery for a brain tumor. Although his rational intelligence remained intact (he could think but not feel), his social judgments became dysfunctional, and he lost both his job and his marriage. Other patients, having lost their memories of emotions related to their experiences of success and failure, erred more when assessing risks in a laboratory gambling task. On this task, most people make money, as the emotions generated by their unconscious brain figure things out ahead of their conscious reasoning.

Intelligent design theory grants the antiquity of the universe but contends that evolution cannot account for the complex human organism. Instead, it offers a Godof-the-gaps, an intelligent designer who intervened in the creation and tinkered with its inadequacies in order to generate life’s complexity. indd 48 6/21/08 6:25:33 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t ic s an d at h e is t s scientific advances. For example, the oft-cited human eye, an engineering marvel, has its building blocks scattered around in other animals, enabling nature to select mutations that over time improve its design.

In the historical Christian understanding, God is not a distant genie whom we call forth with our prayers but rather the creator and sustainer of all that is. Thus when the Pharisees pressed Jesus for some criteria by which they could validate the kingdom of God, Jesus answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed. . indd 42 6/21/08 6:25:06 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t ic s an d at h e is t s withholds care unless cajoled. Rather, by affirming God’s nature and our human dependence even for daily bread, it prepares us to receive what God is already providing.

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