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If you think this God-as-the-condition-of-existence argument is rubbish, you need to say why. And unlike for the superhero version, scientific evidence won't clinch the deal. The question isn't a scientific one, about which things exist.
It's a philosophical one, about what existence is and on what it depends. But too often, instead of being grappled with, this argument gets dismissed as irrelevant. Sure, critics argue, it might be intriguing, but only a handful of smartypants intellectual religious people take it seriously. The vast majority of ordinary folk believe in the other sort of God. As Hart points out, there are two problems with this dismissal. First, you'd actually need to prove the point with survey data about what people believe.
But second, even if you could show that most believers believe in a superhero God, would that mean it's the only kind with which atheists need engage? If a committed creationist wrote a book called The Evolution Delusion, but only attacked the general public's understanding of evolution, we'd naturally dismiss them as disingenuous.
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We'd demand, instead, that they seek out what the best and most acclaimed minds in the field had concluded about evolution, then try dismantling that. Which is also why atheists should read Hart's book: to deny themselves the lazy option of sticking to easy targets. Perhaps you'll come away convinced. But even if all you do is clearly articulate why you think he's completely wrong, you'll be helping to lift the discussion far above what usually passes for debates about religion.
In a post at The Week, Damon Linker sums up this second version better than I can: … according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality — of absolutely everything that is — from the beginning to the end of time. Topics Religion. Elma believes that modern life mitigates against the sharing of family histories and that subtly cuts us adrift, not just from our families but from ourselves.
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Relationships give life meaning — and stories are what those relationships are built on, Elma maintains. We have pictures, but not stories.
Facts but not background. Social media, Elma believes, distracts us from telling each other these stories by offering an endless stream of superficial anecdotes. She now does public speaking, kicking off by asking questions of her audience about their mothers.
Margreeth ended up defying the doctors, dying last year, 14 years after her terminal diagnosis. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Family Self and wellbeing. Reuse this content.
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Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Autobiographical flashbacks include a fascinating account of the relationship with his parents, particularly with his defective year-old father — subtle and adroit in its dysfunctional sadness.
A Short History of Falling by Joe Hammond review – a book to extend empathy | Books | The Guardian
That strategy would seem to be still standing him in good stead. At the end, what one feels is that this is a book to extend empathy, to ensure one understands what it is to have MND and to witness one man facing it with exceptional courage. To order a copy go to guardianbookshop. Topics Autobiography and memoir The Observer. Reuse this content. Most popular.