God talk

This week, God is in vogue.

Lent compels many to talk about God, ponder spirituality, even gripe about religion. While shooting last-minute email on my last hour of work this week (yay!), I stumbled upon an interesting and intense face-off article: “The God Debate” comes out in the April 9 issue of Newsweek.

In the article, a Newsweek writer moderates a discussion between Rick Warren, a pastor and the bestselling author of The Purpose-Driven Life (over 20 million copies sold! – part of that distributed locally by our publishing house), and Sam Harris, an atheist and a PhD candidate in neuroscience who’s also written books (which, uhm, our publishing house does not distribute – hehe).

Some thoughts before I send you off to the article: Christians don’t claim to have it all figured out, but they hold fast to a faith and a hope – a Person who, transcending but not disregarding reason, has given meaning to mere creaturely existence. If Harris is to be believed, atheists see Christianity as the biggest bottleneck to the progress of this civilization, seeing faith in the God of the Bible as a matter of wishful thinking that entails intellectual suicide.

Most of the issues Warren and Harris tackle are not new; they have been pondered by many before them and before us.  You’ve probably heard their arguments before. Still, it’s worth a read. I especially like the ending.

This way to Newsweek‘s “The God Debate.”

UPDATE: I’ve rectified the link to the article. My apologies to those I might have sent off to cyber limbo with the wrong link. Do click again (if you haven’t googled it yet).

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13 thoughts on “God talk”

  1. hi there…thanks for the heads up on this debate… your link did not lead to the article but ill look it up nonetheless..

    I’m an atheist/agnostic myself but I don’t understand why atheists feel so much more ENLIGHTENEd than Christians… sometimes I think some people only become atheists to be cool or unique.

    my mom, a hardcore protestant, used to worry about my salvation, but then not anymore-cuz she sees that I try to be good and that I am happy and I believe in love.

    I like Buddhism the most cuz it’s the most tolerant of all “religions”(if I may call it that)/disciplines. I just wish Christians and atheists/non-theists alike become more tolerant….

    oh by the way, this is a great blog you have here~

    hi, fredda. sorry for the wrong link – it’s been corrected now (but im sure u’ve found ur way to the article by now?). thanks for sharing a bit of urself. one thing i found admirable about the warren-harris interaction is that they were able to discourse at a popular level so the average reader (myself included) is not lost in too much abstraction. then again, could it have been heavily edited? hehe.

    one of the major issues that i have with atheism is that without God in the picture, we’ll have to conclude that this physical life is all there is, that our very existence is happenstance and meaningless… all that is in me tells me that something is amiss in that picture.

    by the way, i hopped to ur blog – i like that u post artwork on ur blog 🙂 sillyserious

  2. Interesting read.

    Fredda, you claim to be an atheist/agnostic yet you say that among all religions, you “like Buddhism the most.” Isn’t that a bit ironical?

    hey, abaniko! dont start a fire in my blog! haha! but, seriously, it will be interesting to hear what fredda has to say 🙂sillyserious

  3. Great article, Aleks. Re: Harris on “atheists see Christianity as the biggest bottleneck to the progress of this civilization, seeing faith in the God of the Bible as a matter of wishful thinking that entails intellectual suicide.” I think he needs to review history, especially what came out of the Monastic movements. The greatest and oldest learning institutions were started by Christians. Happy Easter!

  4. Hi abaniko, if you actually read or learn more about Buddhism (and I advise you to do so ONLY IF you are interested ^^) you would find out that Buddhists are in a way, atheistic or agnostic. Buddhists don’t worship an eternal, omnipotent God the way Christians do.

    I don’t see how an atheist APPRECIATING Buddhism or Christianity could be ironicl. In fact I love Christianity because it gives meaning to so many people’s lives. 0__~

    Sillyserious, thanks a lot for dropping by my blog. I hope you also liked the poetry and quotes (which, thank God -which God???hehehe- are not written by MOI!) OH, AND I share with your sentiment about the conclusion that “the physical life is all there is” – that would be a sad sad world indeed. I don’t understand atheists who believe that only the material world exists, when even quantum mechanics/the new physics says otherwise.In fact the most atheistic societies are those with the highest suicide rates (they also happen to the coldest places on Earth)! simply put, I don’t believe in Heaven and hell/eternal damnation- i believe it is in the here and now. and that after I die I will LIVE ON -through my good deeds and my children and my loved-ones. When I meditate I feel that I am one with “the universe and all of life and existence”~ perhaps you call it your Xian God- and I know won’t leave it when my body dies.

    chihi, don’t worry about me stoking a fire in your blog. I don’t care about being correct and being more intelligent than anyone. what I seek is understanding, resolution, agreeing to disagree, and seeing other people’s perspectives.

    The reason why I don’t mention to people, generally that I am atheist is, they think atheists are arrogant, immoral hedonists. But something about your blog made me “sense” that you are open-minded and not judgmental.
    *^__^*

  5. Kyaleks! I haven’t visited the link yet. But I will soon, pag mabilis na connection namin. 😀 It will help me, and hopefully my friend. 🙂

    By the way, I changed my mind. I won’t give up on my brother. The God Who did not give up on me, won’t give up on him, so how could I?

    Elow, Fredda! You’re right! Sillyserious IS open-minded and not judgmental. 😀 He’s one of the nicest, wisest and most understanding people I know. 🙂

    (kuya, pangalawang pambobola na ba ito? hehehe 😉 )

    wag syado glads – subtle lang para di halatang pambobola. haha! 😉 sillyserious

  6. Hi, Aleks! I got to read the Newsweek article, thanks for the map. After a meaningful Easter Worship in church, I want to jump and shout to the world my faith in the simplest way I can think of, “There is a God. He came to earth to save me and now He is waiting for me in heaven.”

    A blessed Easter to you and your family.

  7. Still anonymous?! Let me try it one more time… (Is there a law that flogs people who are technologically challenged? Hehe.)

    haha! no worries, ate grace 🙂 technologically challenged or not, it would be heinous to flog people who blog (can’t resist the rhyme!) a blessed easter to u and and ur family too! sillyserious 🙂

  8. very good read, kuya! i actually enjoyed the no non-sense talk between harris and warren. thanks for the link! have also recommended the link to bcel and i’m sure she’ll find it interesting =)

    cool 🙂 at first, when i stumbled upon the article in a blog i thought the harris was JOSHUA harris. ahehe… sillyserious

  9. Fredda, that was just a straightforward, innocent question. Na-curious lang bigla ako sa yo. You answered it and I’m okay. No unnecessary rejoinder from me. Peace.

    Apologies Aleks. I should have added a smiley character there. Hehe.

    no worries, bai 😉 ya, the yellow guys (smilies) do come in handy at times. like now: 🙂 sillyserious

  10. hi sillyserious, i got to reAD the article na! what a great insightful reAD, i really appreciate your sharing that~

    ^^

    no biggie, abanik0, ill make a comment on your blog soon, esp. about the beautiful pics.

    u’re welcome, fredda 🙂sillyserious

  11. Thanks for the link, sillyserious. I enjoyed reading the article last last week when I first saw it in your blog.

    I also got to read John Stott’s “Why I am a Christian” last month. Very insightful!

    that’s a stott classic i’d like to read someday 🙂 glad u enjoyed the link article, lazarus… 🙂 sillyserious

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