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If you could sum up The Experience of God in three words, what would they be?
David Bentley Hart lays out the classical definition of God, over and against some of the more modern misconceptions, promulgated by new atheists and some theists alike. His approach is informed by thousands of years of contemplative and rational philosophy spanning numerous religions, converging on 'The One', undivided, simple, purely actualised ground of all reality - God. The book is amusing, inspiring and challenging, highly recommend for anyone wanting a robust classical perspective on God.
A metaphysical masterpiece! "Atheism is too infantile and primitive to be considered a philosophy, it is much more like a therapy."
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Enlightening book, thoroughly study presented in a magisterial style, and preformed in an eloquent manner....in short best audiobook I have had the pleasure of listening to!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Intellectually challenging but well worth the effort. The central argument of this book is that belief in God (across all the major Theistic traditions) is actually rational whereas Atheism/Materialism/Naturalism is necessarily irrational. Very well argued in my opinion.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is what happens when an obsession with the craft of philosophy causes evidence, fact and common sense to play second fiddle to word-play and arrogant posturing. The author has seemingly decided to invent, off the top of his head, a definition of God rarely seen in scripture and almost never in practical religious observance, and declare it to be 'self-evidently' true. This description is worded in such a way as to place it beyond challenge. We cannot, we are told, ask where God comes from because he is not a 'thing' therefore does not come from anywhere. We cannot ask when he was created, because he was not created, he just 'is'. We cannot ask where he is because... you guessed it, the author has decided that he is everywhere... and nowhere. To put it simply, any probing question we might ask about God can be rebutted on the grounds that, He's God, that doesn't apply to him.
We have literally pages and pages of wordage to this effect, telling us exactly the same thing. "God is the indivisible and always transcendent actuality out of which all things recive their imminent actuality in all possible respects... The infinite to which nothing can add and nothing can subtract... the source and fullness of all being... not a being but beyond being..."
In other words, nonsense; a word salad that despite its grammatical correctness is utterly without meaning, and its premise without foundation.
These fantastical mantras are interspersed with a selection of arrogant and bitter attacks on people far more learned than the author himself, both Atheist and Theist; people who actually posit reasoned and evidential argument to support their position.
Occasionally the author hauls in and grossly misrepresents an element of quantum mechanics in an attempt to support his case. He tells us, for instance, that when talking of existence it is clearly impossible for something to come from nothing and therefore God must have been involved. This is a shockingly naive position. If the author had even a basic knowledge of quantum physics he'd realise that trying to describe quantum mathematical processes in language then arguing against the inevitable and gross misrepresentation that results is simply building a straw man. Quantum mechanics can only be described in mathematics and its in mathematics that any proof, rebuttal or argument must be couched.
As an Atheist I clearly disagree with the positions of all Theists but on that does not mean their arguments are all without merit. However, this book does not pose any sort of argument. It has no premise, no line of logic and presents no evidence. What it does is insult its readers by assuming we will be so over-awed by the author's undoubtedly impressive command of language that we will discard our critical faculties and embrace this flowery claptrap as fact.
0 of 5 people found this review helpful