The Thinker's Guide to God
Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie)
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Product Description

    The attempt to define what we mean by God, and indeed goodness, has been the central pre-occupation of western religion and philosophy. In the 21st century, with deteriorating relationships between Islam and the West, with fundamentalist movements growing and with terrorism increasing, the quest is as urgent and relevant as ever. Can one have goodness without God? Is goodness real or do we create it? Does the understanding of God change through our own scriptures? Where does our understanding of God and goodness come from? How does it relate to other virtues, particularly those of beauty and truth? What is the role of reason? What about the ways other cultures approach reality, and how can traditions live peaceably together? Peter Vardy concisely explores the range of approaches to God that has influenced the western Christian tradition in an easy-to-read, popular style.
Contents
  1. Thinking about God - Plato and Aristotle – 6
  2. The God of the Philosophers – 18
  3. The God of Sacred Scripture – 28
  4. Religious Language – 44
  5. The Challenge of Anti-Realism – 62
  6. Arguments for the Existence of God – 78
  7. The Attributes of God – 102
  8. Life after Death1 – 122
  9. Miracles and Prayer – 150
  10. Jesus, the Trinity, and Christian Theology – 166
  11. Faith and Reason – 192
  12. Attacks on God - Darwin, Marx, and Freud – 206
  13. God and Science – 232
  14. Quantum Reality, Multi-Dimensions, and God – 250



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Thinking about God - Plato and Aristotle"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 1


Sections
  • Plato - The story of the cave
    … This world is an illusion and a shadow of true reality
  • Raphael’s School of Athens illustrates (for Plato) …
    … The unchanging world of the perfect Forms
    … Ultimate truth to be known after death
    … Recollection of past knowledge
    … Motion and change indicates imperfection
    … Art is imitation and leads people away from the Real
  • Aristotle
    … Was a scientist and empiricist
  • Raphael’s School of Athens illustrates (for Aristotle) …
    … This world is the real world
    … If you want to know what a good X is, study Xs
    … Something is good if it fulfils its nature
    … Ethics is also grounded in this world
    … There is no world of perfect Forms of which this world in the shadow
  • Aristotle and Plato on God
  • Plato’s God
    … The Forms were not created by God, nor are they active – they are just there
    … Raw, chaotic matter has always existed
    … God – the demiurge – is like a sculptor who created the universe from chaotic matter using the Forms as a template
    … Chaotic matter resisted the will of the Demiurge, so the Universe is imperfect
    … Also, because the Universe is changing, it is imperfect on these grounds too
  • The Demiurge, in contrast to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God
    … Did not create ex nihilo
    … Is not all-powerful, nor a loving, personal god
    … Is good because of conforming to the Form of the Good
  • Mathematics
    … If you think mathematical truths (or rules) are discovered, rather than created, you’re a Platonist
  • Aristotle’s God
    … The Universe is everlasting – without beginning or end
    … There are 40 rings of stars, with the earth at the centre
    … God moved the 40th ring, but
    … Did not create and does not sustain the Universe,
    … Does not act in nor have any interest in the Universe
    … But, God is the great “attractor” who caused the 40th ring of stars to move
  • Similarities between Plato’s and Aristotle’s God
    … Neither does anything, is created, creates, is in space or time, or has any interest in the Universe
    … Both are perfect and outside of space and time
  • Questions for Consideration



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The God of the Philosophers"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 2



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The God of Sacred Scripture"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 3



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Religious Language"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 4



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Challenge of Anti-Realism"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 5



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Arguments for the Existence of God"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 6



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Attributes of God"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 7



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Life after Death"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 8



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Miracles and Prayer"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 9



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Jesus, the Trinity, and Christian Theology"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 10



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Faith and Reason"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 11



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Attacks on God - Darwin, Marx, and Freud"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 12



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - God and Science"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 13



"Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - Quantum Reality, Multi-Dimensions, and God"

Source: Vardy (Peter) & Arliss (Julie) - The Thinker's Guide to God, Chapter 14



Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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