Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith

Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith

Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith

Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith

Synopsis

This book offers 27 interviews with distinguished intellectuals from different fields of expertise, presenting their viewpoints about the existence and nonexistence of God, the roles of religion and science, and other related- and controversial- topics.

• Contributors include distinguished scholars and investigators with both religious and nonreligious worldviews

• New interviews, never published before, provide unique and accessible insight into the current thinking of prominent scholars

• Provides various viewpoints on controversial topics in a civil, respectful manner

Excerpt

Since the dawn of history, much has been made of the existence of God—or gods. Some people believe in many gods; others believe in just one God. For some who believe in a singular deity, that deity is a personal being, like a father figure; for others, God is Nature, embedded in all things and beings, or a kind of universal consciousness. a minority of humans believe in no gods, one God, or even what is conventionally called “the supernatural.”

Although I once believed in God, I now count myself in this atheist minority. Still, I have never dismissed the “god question” as foolish or childish. I do not think that nonbelief in God is a claim to intellectual superiority. I am open to the critique that my journey toward atheism is a journey toward a blindness to the spark of the divine. Nevertheless, I hold this principle: I do not embark on my journey in fear; I have deliberately based my choice of path on the objective tools and techniques of rational inquiry and the subjective means by which I interpret the results. (Besides those, what other tools do we have to help us understand the cosmos?)

Born in Portugal, a very Catholic country, I was raised in a liberal religious environment. I did not attend Mass frequently, but I was baptized as an infant and I took my first Communion at the age of 10, and I must say that I had great pleasure attending catechesis when I was young. I am an architect and painter, and I’ve always had a natural inclination to draw and to paint, so I spent a lot of time at catechesis not only listening to the gospel but also making drawings of my images of Jesus, the apostles, God, and other biblical characters.

It should be clear that I’ve never resented religion in general or the Catholic Church in particular; these were part of my cultural milieu . . .

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