It is just too easy to proclaim a mysterious god
More from John Shook’s The God Debates. I’m finding it very quotable.
Religion’s defenders often show a preference for defining atheism as the strongest claim to know that no god exists. If atheists cannot justify such a claim (and they can’t…), perhaps belief in god then appears reasonable?This tactic fails, since it uses the wrong definition of atheism and conveniently forgets how religious believers do claim extravagant knowledge of a supreme infinite being. It is religion that credits an extraordinary capacity for knowledge to humans, not atheism. [pp 22-2]
It is just too easy to proclaim a mysterious god, deride dogmatic atheism’s inability to prove that such a mysterious unknowable god cannot exist, and conclude that the faithful should not be criticized. [p 25]
Ordinary believers only feel more lost when a third theologian must be summoned to explain the precise difference between “god is the formless ground of all being in and for itself” and “god is the mystery of the self-evident that is wholly present.” [p 45]
That last one should be addressed directly to Terry Eagleton and Karen Armstrong!
The book is excellent. It sorts the familiar theist claims and arguments into categories in a useful way, as well as pointing out what’s wrong with them. I’m looking forward to the chapter on “Theology into the Myst.”