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Topic: The big question

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Subject: The big question
Date Posted: 9/17/2013 2:03 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 30
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When all is said and done - there only is one question... is there life after death.  As a cradle Catholic I was educated (indoctrinated) about God.  As a physician, I am skeptical of all things supernatural.  Some pertinent thoughts - if there is no God then the universe is the grandest thing created from nothing (Chesterton).  If Christ did not live, how does one explain the explosion of Christianity in the first centuries of the common era.  Something very remarkable had to have occurred.

This I am sure of - many (probably most) of the priests and nuns believe what they teach...it is not a charade.   Many of these people are very intelligent and educated, can they all be delusional?

I've read many books pro/con for God and none has been convincing.  It is likely that reason alone cannot provide the answer to the big question.  Still I would appreciate any suggestions re: books  on the subject.. I 've read C.S. Lewis, Josh McDowell, John Stott, Lee Strobel, Gerald Schroeder, William F. Buckley, Jr. but also Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, William Lobdell, Ayann Hirsi Ali among others.

Date Posted: 9/19/2013 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 10/18/2009
Posts: 110
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I haven't read these yet, so I can't personally recommend, but maybe St. Augustine (Confessions, City of God), G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy, The Everlasting Man), or William Lane Craig (http://www.reasonablefaith.org).

Date Posted: 9/20/2013 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Paul C.  May I suggest you read some of the reviews in Amazon Books.com of Zealot: The LIfe and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Azlan.  This is a book which appeared last July, and is reputed to be very readable by lay persons.  At least it sounds as though it would be more readable than Dr. Schweitzer's book about Jesus.  Azlan is reported to have been reliant upon historical records of the time, such as the writings of the historian Josephus, rather than the Gospels.  A previous book by Azlan, No God But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam,  received favorable reviews.  Azlan has a sheaf of academic credentials from U. S. universities, in comparative religion, the history of religion, and the sociology of religion.

Last Edited on: 9/20/13 8:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/27/2013 4:13 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Paul C.:  I write again to tell you of another book that might prove helpful to you, by E.O. Wilson, a distinguished biologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.   Actually, this man, whom some fellow scientists regard as the most celebrated heir to Charles Darwin, has written some twenty books.  When you read about him, you will discover the broad range of his writings and be able to select from among them  one that will seem most pertinent to your own intellectual quest.  I'll tease you with a quote:  " Religion will never solve this great riddle.  Since Paleolithic times each tribe---of which there have been countless thousands---invented its own creation myth [revolving around] God, a tribe of Gods, a divine family, the Great Spirit, the Sun, ghosts of the forbears, supreme serpents, hybrids of sundry animals, chimeras of men and beasts, omnipotent sky spiders---anything and everything that could be conjured by the dreams, hallucinogens, and fertile imaginations of the spiritual leaders."


Last Edited on: 9/27/13 4:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 3