Just a disclaimer, I know nothing about the book or author besides what the article (from 2014) presents. Oh, and a second disclaimer, the article is written by an atheist .. .. just in case anyone gets so worked up by the thread title that they feel they can spontaneously retch up a spiel, despite not reading anything. https://www.theguardian.com/news/ol...jan/14/the-theology-book-atheists-should-read The article may be a little dated, but it certainly seems relevant to the state of many things here. Just a few excerpts (although reading the whole thing is warranted IMHO) that I thought were relevant or provide enough for a basic run down: One reason that modern-day debates between atheists and religious believers are so bad-tempered, tedious and infuriating is that neither side invests much effort in figuring out what the other actually means when they use the word 'God'. This is an embarrassing oversight, especially for the atheist side (on which my sympathies generally lie). After all, scientific rationalists are supposed to care deeply about evidence. (Of course this may not be relevant, since our discussions are never tedious or bad tempered) The God attacked by most modern atheists, Hart argues, is a sort of superhero, a "cosmic craftsman" – the technical term is "demiurge" – whose defining quality is that he's by far the most powerful being in the universe, or perhaps outside the universe (though it's never quite clear what that might mean). The superhero God can do anything he likes to the universe, including creating it to begin with. Demolishing this God is pretty straightforward: all you need to do is point to the lack of scientific evidence for his existence, and the fact that we don't need to postulate him in order to explain how the universe works. But throughout the history of monotheism, Hart insists, a very different version of God has prevailed. In a post at The Week, Damon Linker sums up this second version better than I can: … according to the classical metaphysical traditions of both the East and West, God is the unconditioned cause of reality – of absolutely everything that is – from the beginning to the end of time. Understood in this way, one can’t even say that God "exists" in the sense that my car or Mount Everest or electrons exist. God is what grounds the existence of every contingent thing, making it possible, sustaining it through time, unifying it, giving it actuality. God is the condition of the possibility of anything existing at all. God, in short, isn't one very impressive thing among many things that might or might not exist; "not just some especially resplendent object among all the objects illuminated by the light of being," as Hart puts it. Rather, God is "the light of being itself", the answer to the question of why there's existence to begin with. In other words, that wisecrack about how atheists merely believe in one less god than theists do, though it makes a funny line in a Tim Minchin song, is just a category error. Monotheism's God isn't like one of the Greek gods, except that he happens to have no god friends. It's an utterly different kind of concept. Since I can hear atheist eyeballs rolling backwards in their sockets with scorn, it's worth saying again: the point isn't that Hart's right. It's that he's making a case that's usually never addressed by atheists at all. If you think this God-as-the-condition-of-existence argument is rubbish, you need to say why. And unlike for the superhero version, scientific evidence won't clinch the deal. The question isn't a scientific one, about which things exist. It's a philosophical one, about what existence is and on what it depends. Sciforums atheism sans science? Does such a creature even exist? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! At the very least, do you think it's possible we can be subject to a different type of atheist meme to be spammed?