A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why by David G. Myers

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 considering has moved from the non secular thesis to the skeptical antithesis (or vice versa), Myers bargains tips that could a science-respecting Christian synthesis. He exhibits how skeptics and folks of religion can percentage a dedication to cause, facts, and significant considering, whereas additionally embracing a religion that helps human flourishing—by making feel of the universe, giving desiring to existence, connecting us in supportive groups, mandating altruism, and delivering wish within the face of adversity and loss of life.

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Or do we err in searching for a “God effect” that is a slight subtraction to, for example, the number of stillbirths or coronary deaths? In the historical Christian understanding, God is not a distant genie whom we call forth with our prayers but rather the creator and sustainer of all that is. Thus when the Pharisees pressed Jesus for some criteria by which they could validate the kingdom of God, Jesus answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed. . indd 42 6/21/08 6:25:06 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 withholds care unless cajoled.

Why not put prayer to the test? So they did. Modern prayer experiments bring to fruition the “prayer test challenge” envisioned in 1872 by an anonymous Briton. ” Would its patients’ healing and mortality rates surpass those in comparable hospitals elsewhere? indd 34 6/21/08 6:25:05 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 The proposal triggered a national “prayer-gauge controversy” that raged for a year. For many people, the very idea of testing prayer—and God—was outrageous.

Yet the mind is not an extra entity that occupies the brain. ” We are not ghosts (or souls) in machines but unified mind-brain systems. Longing for a nonmaterial spiritual dimension, some people look to out-of-body extrasensory perception—to reports of people predicting the future, reading others’ minds, or discerning events at remote locations. Alas, no greedy—or charitable—psychic has been able to predict the outcome of a lottery jackpot or to make billions on the stock market. The search for a valid and reliable test of ESP has resulted in thousands of experiments.

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