A Plausible God: Secular Reflections on Liberal Jewish by Mitchell Silver

By Mitchell Silver

A minimum of because the 17th century, the normal God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has been stressed to comply to the medical worldview. around the monotheistic traditions there has emerged a liberalconception of God suitable with a thoroughgoing naturalism. for lots of, this liberal new God is the one credible God. yet is it an invaluable God? Does trust in so malleable a deity come from, or bring about, assorted political, ethical, mental, or aesthetic phenomena from atheism?A believable God evaluates the hot God via reading the theology of 3 contemporary Jewish thinkers -Mordechai Kaplan, Michael Lerner, and Arthur Green-and compares religion within the new God to disbelief in any gods. Mitchell Silver finds what's at stake within the selection among naturalistic liberal theology and a nontheistic naturalism with no gods. Silver poses the query: whether it is to be both the hot God or no God, what does-what should-determine the choice?Although Jewish thinkers are used because the basic exemplars of latest God theology, Silver explores advancements in modern Christian concept, jap spiritual traditions, and New Agereligion. A believable God constitutes an important contribution to present discussions of the connection among technology and faith, in addition to to discussions concerning the which means of the belief of God itself in glossy life.A impressive piece of labor. . . . Many tremendous passages, with very transparent and unique recommendations, excellently put.-Daniel C. Dennett, writer of Breaking the Spell: faith as a ordinary Phenomenon

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Example text

God is a big thing, and some hold that belief (or nonbelief ) in God has big consequences. In some communities, belief in God is the attribute of any respectable member. In some families, its absence is alarming and disruptive. In addition to doing as others do, believing as others believe helps to keep the peace. Less altruistic than peace-keeping, but a use of theism not to be overlooked, is the help that it might afford in social advancement. Some social circles, some career opportunities, and some romantic prospects may be closed to the nonbeliever.

The universe may have a form that is a self-perpetuator or be the organized whole that permits the self-perpetuation of some of its parts, but the sheer doggedness of form has nothing of the divine about it. Talk of Darwin, organisms, and perpetuating forms suggests that we are talking about life, and if the universe is a living being, or less grandiosely, makes possible, gives rise to, and houses life, might there not be value in that? 19 ................. 16088$ $CH2 08-31-06 15:27:47 PS PAGE 19 A P L AU S I B L E G O D It is a rhetorical challenge to denigrate ‘‘life’’ because, when we hear the term, we quite naturally think of the particular life forms with which we are familiar.

After all, I have no concern for my individual organs independent of my general selfconcern. It is a little trickier to assess the claim that the organic universe implies that the well-being of each part depends on the well-being of the whole. That is because it is hard to decide just what constitutes the well-being of an organism’s individual parts. If the well-being of the part is defined as making its optimal contribution to the well-being of the whole, then it is trivially true that the well-being of the part depends on the wellbeing of the whole.

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