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Between the sublime confidence of both biblical fundamentalists and radical atheists lie various shades of belief, agnosticism, wishful thinking and escapist fantasy. The passion to prove the existence of God has always been frustrated by rationalism and always will be, which is why the subject of God's existence will continue to be an enigma. This book comprehensively explores the many controversial issues contained within the debate, touching on such questions as the truth of scripture, the validity of miracles, the whole question of the afterlife, and whether, of course, proof on matters of faith is ever going to be possible. Atheists contend that God is an invention for those unable to face the finality of death; believers that the existence of God is the only basis on which to build and live a meaningful life. Bound up with these perennially contested themes are equally searching arguments concerning free will and determinism, morality and ethics, and the moral and social effectiveness of a secular community compared to one administered by religious authority. These questions matter, affecting the way we live our lives, both collectively and as individuals.
Avoiding the black-and-white thinking of those at the incandescent core of this debate, this book offers a refreshing mix of nimble (never restrictive) logic and questioning (never unthinking) spirituality.
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About the Author
Gerald Benedict graduated in Divinity from the University of London, and has a postgraduate diploma from the School of Ecumenical Studies, University of Geneva, and a Ph.D. from the Open University. His main academic interest is comparative religious philosophy, and after teaching religious studies and philosophy in colleges and universities in Britain, he moved to France. He is the author of the Watkins Dictionary of Religious and Secular Faiths and a number of books about the Mayan civilisation, including The Mayan Prophecies. His most recent book for Watkins was The Five-Minute Philospher (2011). He has won awards for a novel, several short stories, and a radio drama for the BBC World Service.