• Talking God: Philosophers on Belief by Gary Gutting

REVIEW

Approachable, civilized discussions about the actuality of God.

Gutting (Philosophy/Univ. of Notre Dame; What Aesthetics Can Do, 2015, etc.) presents a collection of conversations with added philosophers, all of which originally appeared in The Stone, the aesthetics blog of the New York Times. Interested in acquirements why best able philosophers self-identify as atheist, as against to agnostic, the columnist interviewed a representative set of philosophers to apprentice their angle about theism. The result is a fascinating, allusive set of conversations that will intrigue believers and nonbelievers alike. After discussing canon and atheism broadly with Alvin Plantinga and Louise Antony, Gutting moves on to abstract and academic capacity as they administer to the accountable of God: deconstruction (John Caputo), accuracy (Howard Wettstein), advantage (Philip Kitcher), cosmology/physics (Tim Maudlin), change (Michael Ruse), epistemology (Keith DeRose), and history (Daniel Garber). Gutting additionally realizes that the debate over God in the Western academy too generally centers on the Judeo-Christian concept of divinity. Consequently, he additionally accomplished out to philosophers of other faith traditions in chase of a counterbalanced discussion: Islam (Sajjad Rizvi), Hinduism (Jonardon Ganeri), and Buddhism (Jay Garfield). Gutting and his collaborators present a acceptable acquittal to the acerbic works of the New Atheists—Hitchens, Dawkins et al.—offering reasoned, civil, and fair explorations of timeless issues. In anniversary case, whether theist, agnostic, or atheist, the interlocutors discuss with account for opposing angle and with abasement for what questions can and cannot be absolutely answered. Rather than seeing the altercation as a contest to be won or lost, these philosophers account the absoluteness that beyond issues of justice and chastity are at play. As Kitcher puts it, “let’s be aggressive by the world’s accumulating of religious metaphors insofar as they advice us advance the human situation. Humanism first, atheism second.”

An exceptional introduction to the abstract questions surrounding God and atheism.

EDITORIAL REVIEW

Through interviews with twelve distinguished philosophers―including atheists, agnostics, and believers―Talking God works toward a philosophical understanding and evaluation of religion. Along the way, Gary Gutting and his interviewees challenge many common assumptions about religious beliefs.

As tensions simmer, and often explode, between the secular and the religious forces in modern life, the big questions about human belief press ever more urgently. Where does belief, or its lack, originate? How can we understand and appreciate religious traditions different from our own? Featuring conversations with twelve skeptics, atheists, agnostics, and believers―including Alvin Plantinga, Philip Kitcher, Michael Ruse, and John Caputo―Talking God offers new perspectives on religion, including the challenge to believers from evolution, cutting-edge physics and cosmology; arguments both for and against atheism; and meditations on the value of secular humanism and faith in the modern world. Experts offer insights on Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as Judaism and Christianity. Topical and illuminating, Talking God gives readers a deeper understanding of faith today and how philosophers understand it.

From Talking God:

“[Some say] Buddhism is not a religion because Buddhists don’t believe in a supreme being. This simply ignores the fact that many religions are not theistic in this sense. Chess is a game, despite the fact that it is not played with a ball, after all.”―Jay Garfield, from chapter 10, “Buddhism: Religion Without Divinity”

“Why think that the creator was all-knowing and omnipotent?― Maybe the creator was a student god, and only got a B minus on this project?”―Louise Antony, from chapter 2, “A Case for Atheism”

“There are a large number―maybe a couple of dozen―of pretty good theistic arguments. None is conclusive, but each, or at any rate the whole bunch taken together, is about as strong as philosophical arguments ordinarily get.”―Alvin Plantinga, from chapter 1, “A Case for Theism”

“If you cease to ‘believe’ in a particular religious creed, like Calvinism or Catholicism, you have changed your mind and adopted a new position― But if you lose ‘faith,’―everything is lost. You have lost your faith in life, lost hope in the future, lost heart, and you cannot go on.”―John Caputo, from chapter 3, “Religion and Deconstruction”

Talking God: Philosophers on Belief

  • BookTalking God: Philosophers on Belief
  • Author:Gary Gutting
  • ISBN:0393352811
  • ISBN-13:9780393352818
  • Binding:Paperback
  • Publishing Date:2016-11-22
  • Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company
  • Language:English
  • Number Of pages:240