50 Blogs on Disbelief
My thoughts on the book, 50 Voices of Disbelief, Why We Are Athiests, edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk. Written as I read them in no particular order. The page number of the essay is provided at the top of each entry.
p. 23 Ophelia Benson “A Deal-Breaker”
This one comes early in the book and I wonder if I had read them in order if I would have found it more interesting. What I mean by that is, it fits the mold that I expected to find in this book. I have been surprised by the variety this book has offered, but I have not mentioned how many times an essay has based its argument on “ if God is the eternal omnipotent benevolent omniscient creator of the universe…”. This is another one. Her deal breaker is that God is hidden, that we don’t really know what he is even though he could easily reveal himself. Oh yeah, she has trouble with it being a “he” also.
Historically, I realize these ideas are persistent, but theologically I can’t support them. Much of it comes from Greek culture when they conquered the Middle East and mixed with the people of the desert. The Hebrew Bible (sometimes called the Old Testament) has several stories of men arguing with God and getting him to change his mind. God tells people that He needs their help. I know the Bible also has quotes about God being perfect, but I never said the Bible was inerrant.
I don’t want to defend the Bible any further than this. I only want to make a case against this essay. The arguments for belief that she has problems with are the kinds that are made by televangelists and hucksters. I have about as much problem with them as she does. I think a lot of regular church goers do too.