Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Faith That's Not Blind: A Brief Introduction to Contemporary Arguments  For the Existence of God
         In 125 pages with over 100 endnotes, educator, philosopher, J. Steve Miller of Kennesaw State University, co-author of Why Brilliant People Believe Nonsense and author of Richard Dawkins and His God Delusion, presents in this book the major arguments for believing in the existence of God.
Perhaps “balanced” with one of the books by atheists he cites, such as Dawkins, this would make an excellent textbook for a high school or college course. It is pleasure for the intelligent layman to read and ponder.
There are 20 “exhibits,” short chapters discussing approaches to the question of demonstrating and understanding the existence of God. Each one incudes discussion, references, and a chance to evaluate how convincing the reader found the arguments.
As a scientist, I am swayed by the idea that the Big Bang was the Act of Creation. Further, the “fine-tuning” of the significant physical constants of the universe, necessary for anything like it to exist, requires an extraordinarily small probability to occur by chance. Those scientists who posit an infinite number of universes (the multiverse) have chosen an option that makes less sense to me than God as the Creator. Why He created it and what He wants is unclear to me, however.   

Others have found the existence of evil a sticking point in their contemplation of God: “If God is good, He is not God. If God is God, He is not good.” Miller notes that this argument is surprisingly weak: we don’t know what “good” is, and we do know that freedom, free-will, includes the ability to make bad choices, harming ourselves and others. I once had a dream in which the world was perfect, and God (I think) asked me, “Now what?” Nothing was left to do, and doing something was likely to cause imperfection: this is the opposite of how the universe appeared to skeptical French poet Paul Valery, as “a defect in the purity of Non-being “.

The great mathematician and philosopher Leibniz was parodied by Voltaire in V.’s novel, Candide, for believing “this is the best of all possible worlds.” But Leibniz must be right, if God is benevolent: we just don’t know what is “possible,” nor do we know the trade-offs necessary to create what is “best.”

This handsomely produced, thoughtful, very well-written book deserves a wide audience. I received it as a gift from the author, without an obligation to review it. I’m glad I read it.

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