A paradigm-shifting blend of science, religion, and philosophy for the agnostic, spiritual-but-not-religious, and scientifically minded reader
Many people are fed up with the way traditional religion alienates them. Too often it perpetuates conflict, vilifies science, and undermines reason. Nancy Abrams—a philosopher of science, lawyer, and lifelong atheist—is among these people, but she has also found freedom in imagining a higher power.
In A God That Could Be Real, Abrams explores a radically new way of thinking about God. She dismantles several common assumptions about God and shows why an omniscient, omnipotent God that created the universe and plans what happens is incompatible with science—but that this doesn’t preclude a God that can comfort and empower us.
Moving away from traditional arguments for God, Abrams finds something worthy of the name “God” in the new science of emergence: just as a complex ant hill emerges from the collective behavior of individually clueless ants, and just as the global economy emerges from the interactions of billions of individuals’ choices, God, she argues, is an “emergent phenomenon” that arises from the staggering complexity of humanity’s collective aspirations and is in dialogue with every individual. This God did not create the universe—it created the meaning of the universe. It’s not universal—it’s planetary. It can’t change the world, but it helps us change the world. A God that could be real, Abrams shows us, is what humanity needs to inspire us to collectively cooperate to protect our warming planet and create a long-term civilization.
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About the Author
Nancy Ellen Abrams is coauthor with Joel R. Primack, of The View from the Center of the Universe and The New Universe and the Human Future.
Read an Excerpt
From Chapter 2: "A God That Can't Be Real
Excerpted from "A God That Could Be Real"
Copyright © 2015 Nancy Ellen Abrams.
Excerpted by permission of Beacon Press.
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Table of Contents
Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Foreword by Paul Davies
Chapter 1 God Evolves
Chapter 2 A God That Can’t Be Real
Chapter 3 A God That Could Be Real
Chapter 4 Is There a Spiritual World?
Chapter 5 Does God Answer Prayers?
Chapter 6 Is There an Afterlife?
Chapter 7 Renewing God, Renewing Religion
Chapter 8 Planetary God, Planetary Morality
Chapter 9 A Big Picture for Our Time