Not because I think they'll be completely convinced by it.
I'm not, and I'm certainly not convinced by Hart's other publicly expressed views, which tend towards the implacably socially conservative. They should read it because Hart marshals powerful historical evidence and philosophical argument to suggest that atheists — if they want to attack the opposition's strongest case — badly need to up their game. The God attacked by most modern atheists, Hart argues, is a sort of superhero, a "cosmic craftsman" — the technical term is "demiurge" — whose defining quality is that he's by far the most powerful being in the universe, or perhaps outside the universe though it's never quite clear what that might mean.
The superhero God can do anything he likes to the universe, including creating it to begin with. Demolishing this God is pretty straightforward: all you need to do is point to the lack of scientific evidence for his existence, and the fact that we don't need to postulate him in order to explain how the universe works. Some people really do believe in this version of God: supporters of 'intelligent design' , for example — for whom Hart reserves plenty of scorn — and other contemporary Christian and Muslim fundamentalists, too. But throughout the history of monotheism, Hart insists, a very different version of God has prevailed.
God is what grounds the existence of every contingent thing, making it possible, sustaining it through time, unifying it, giving it actuality. God is the condition of the possibility of anything existing at all. God, in short, isn't one very impressive thing among many things that might or might not exist; "not just some especially resplendent object among all the objects illuminated by the light of being," as Hart puts it.
Rather, God is "the light of being itself", the answer to the question of why there's existence to begin with. In other words, that wisecrack about how atheists merely believe in one less god than theists do, though it makes a funny line in a Tim Minchin song , is just a category error. Monotheism's God isn't like one of the Greek gods, except that he happens to have no god friends. It's an utterly different kind of concept. Since I can hear atheist eyeballs rolling backwards in their sockets with scorn, it's worth saying again: the point isn't that Hart's right. It's that he's making a case that's usually never addressed by atheists at all.
The True Intellectual System of the Universe: the first part, wherein all the reason and philosophy of atheism is confuted and its impossibility demonstrated. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 8 October Retrieved 22 October Archived from the original on 22 May Archived from the original on 24 November Retrieved 24 November Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
Internet Infidels , Secular Web Library. Retrieved APR Language, Truth and Logic.
1. Definitions of “Atheism”
In a footnote, Ayer attributes this view to "Professor H. Gunasekara, "The Buddhist Attitude to God". Archived from the original on 2 January In the Bhuridatta Jataka, "The Buddha argues that the three most commonly given attributes of God, viz. Grove Press, Archived from the original on 21 May Intelligent Design.
Archived from the original on 7 July Retrieved 11 July Claydon, David; et al. William Carey Library.
What is the evidence for/against the existence of God? | Reasonable Faith
Although Neo-Pagans share common commitments to nature and spirit there is a diversity of beliefs and practices Some are atheists, others are polytheists several gods exist , some are pantheists all is God and others are panentheists all is in God. New Religions. Chelsea House Publishers. One online information source indicates that depending on how the term God is defined, Neo-Pagans might be classified as monotheists, duotheists two gods , polytheists, pantheists, or atheists. Hinduism, a way of life. Motilal Banarsidass. Archived from the original on 13 April For the thoroughgoing atheist, the path is extremely difficult, if not lonely, for he can not develop any relationship of love with God, nor can he expect any divine help on the long and arduous journey.
Archived from the original on 27 September Retrieved 15 July Comparative Religion. Archived from the original on 24 December Retrieved 21 September The Ineffable, Inconceivable, and Incomprehensible God. Fundamentality and Apophatic Theology". In Kvanvig, Jonathan ed. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion. Volume 6.
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Archived from the original PDF on 4 March Retrieved 22 July Nonbelief has existed for centuries. For example, Buddhism and Jainism have been called atheistic religions because they do not advocate belief in gods. May New Humanist. Archived from the original on 2 March The Gospel of Christian Atheism. London: Collins. Archived from the original on 29 September Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
According to Hinduism, the path of the atheist is very difficult to follow in matters of spirituality, though it is a valid one. All things are lawful then, they can do what they like? This, however, is possible in an intelligible world only under a wise author and ruler.
Reason compels us to admit such a ruler, together with life in such a world, which we must consider as future life, or else all moral laws are to be considered as idle dreams That problem was brought home to us with dazzling clarity by Nietzsche, who had reflected more deeply than any of his contemporaries on the implications of godlessness and come to the conclusion that a fatal contradiction lay at the heart of modern theological enterprise: it thought that Christian morality, which it wished to preserve, was independent of Christian dogma, which it rejected.
This, in Nietzsche's mind, was an absurdity.
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It amounted to nothing less than dismissing the architect while trying to keep the building or getting rid of the lawgiver while claiming the protection of the law. Morality "has truth only if God is truth—it stands or falls with faith in God" Nietzsche , p. The moral argument for the existence of God essentially takes Nietzsche's assertion as one of its premises: if there is no God, then "there are altogether no moral facts". Duke University Press. Like other mid-nineteenth-century writers, George Eliot was not fully aware of the implications of her humanism, and, as Nietzsche saw, attempted the difficult task of upholding the Christian morality of altruism without faith in the Christian God.
Principia Ethica. Beyond Belief Session 6 Conference. Cohen notes particularly that Plato and Aristotle produced arguments in favour of slavery.
Collected Works, v. New York. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria. June Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Also see: Altemeyer, Bob; Hunsberger, Bruce International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. Archived from the original on 16 May In a world riven by ignorance, only the atheist refuses to deny the obvious: Religious faith promotes human violence to an astonishing degree.
Ethics for a Brave New World. Stand To Reason. Retrieved 18 October Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: 'Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.
Catholic Education Resource Center. Archived from the original on 28 October Robertson, A. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Broadman Press.
Way More Americans May Be Atheists Than We Thought
Atheists in the original sense of being without God and also in the sense of hostility to God from failure to worship him. See Paul's words in Ro — American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Archived from the original on 27 November English recusant literature, — The Psalmes of David and others, with J. Calvin's commentaries.
The Atheistes which say.. Translated from Latin. The auncient ecclesiasticall histories of the first six hundred years after Christ, written by Eusebius, Socrates, and Evagrius. The opinion which they conceaue of you, to be Atheists, or godlesse men. Athisme, that is to say, vtter godlesnes. English history. Godd would not longe suffer this impietie, or rather atheonisme. The later and now obsolete words athean and atheal are dated to and respectively.