Anybody who sets himself the task of acquitting God from the charge of being a “moral monster” has his work cut out for him. Paul Copan knows this, but in his attempt to acquit God he seems to be standing at the bottom of a pit wielding a shovel. How do you get out of a hole with that tool?Read More
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God is a novel that steers clear of both strident attacks against religion and sanctimonious pieties. Instead, it explores the reality of religious fervor and examines the merit of both religious and anti-religious stances. And yet… because it is so respectful, patient, and level-headed, Goldstein’s novel may be actually more subversive than other, more straightforward anti-theistic tracts.
How is it possible to at once be furious with God and not believe in Him at all?
From the novel: “God hates us more than we can hate Him, and we do not deserve that hate, and therefore against God we are always in the wrong… Well, that’s our relationship with God in brief, isn’t it?… We are ‘lucky’ that God is angry with us, ‘lucky’ that He made us, and even when we have not behaved badly in the vineyard and have done nothing bad at all, we should still bow and scrape, and murmur, like my father’s poor parishioners going down on their knees, ‘My mistake, my mistake, I am lucky that You are angry with me’—all because Adam, who was anyway created by this hateful tyrant and might not have wanted to be created, this poor Adam, ate the luckless apple. Oh when will humans murder this devilish concept of God?”Read More
It’s been over a decade since the final installment of Philip Pullman’s subversive fantasy trilogy was published, with no new work in sight. So what are devotees of Oxford’s Rebel Angel to do? Well, they could do worse than to remember an old hand at religious satire: Anatole France. While my local big-box bookstore doesn’t carry a single one of his titles, this Nobel Prize winner (for literature, 1921) is among the world’s greatest satirists. He is also the writer of a clever piece of speculative fiction, Revolt of the Angels (1914), that comes across a bit like Pullman—drunk on sacramental wine.
Elie Wiesel lost millions to Madoff because, he says, “we thought he was God.”Read More
A reviewer misses the point. To be an atheist is to deny God’s existence, not to become enraged about God’s acts (or lack thereof).Read More
Just when you thought that “new atheism” marked a radical turn, along comes an even more rebellious concept of religious dissent: misotheism.Read More