By David G. Myers
A pleasant Letter to Skeptics and Atheists is helping readers—both secular and religious—appreciate their universal flooring. For these whose pondering has moved from the non secular thesis to the skeptical antithesis (or vice versa), Myers deals tips that could a science-respecting Christian synthesis. He indicates how skeptics and other people of religion can proportion a dedication to cause, facts, and significant considering, whereas additionally embracing a religion that helps human flourishing—by making experience of the universe, giving desiring to existence, connecting us in supportive groups, mandating altruism, and providing wish within the face of adversity and dying.
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Additional info for A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil
Randi’s offer has been publicized for three decades, and dozens of people have been tested, sometimes under the scrutiny of an independent panel of judges. Still, nothing. No evidence of a human mind or essence that operates independently of the body. Nor has science been friendly to mystical interpretations of those near-death experiences that are recalled by about one-third of people who have brushed death through a trauma such as cardiac arrest. To the psychiatric researcher Ronald Siegel, the typical near-death experience does not indicate a mind or soul leaping free of the body.
Does presuming that we creatures can pull God’s strings not violate biblical admonitions to humbly recognize our place as finite creatures of the infinite God? No wonder we are counseled to offer prayers of adoration, praise, confession, thanksgiving, dedication, and meditation, as well as to ask for what shall (spiritually, if not materially) be given. 2. Even for those who believe that God intervenes in response to our prayers, there are practical reasons for expecting null effects: • The “noise” factor: Given that 95 percent of Americans express belief in God, all patients undergoing cardiac bypass surgery will already be receiving prayer—by spouses, children, siblings, friends, colleagues, and fellow believers, and congregants—if not offering them themselves.
In one Skeptics Society survey, nearly four in five respondents were men. Likewise, when I attended a jammed 2006 Skeptics Society lecture by Sam Harris at Cal Tech, I discovered that the audience was overwhelmingly guys like me. By comparison, 52 percent of the authors of books that I know to acclaim intuition’s powers are female. And of the 253 books in the New Age section at our local Barnes and Noble superstore, 37 percent were female. indd 22 6/21/08 6:24:14 PM a fri en d l y l et t er t o s k ep t ic s an d at h e is t s I wondered, does the oft-reported gender difference in openness to nonrational ways of knowing carry over to participation in faith communities?
A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God Is Good and Faith Isn't Evil by David G. Myers