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Evidence For God: A Case for the Existence of the Spiritual Dimension Paperback – October 29, 2014
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About the Author
- Publisher : Darton Longman & Todd Ltd; UK ed. edition (October 29, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0232531307
- ISBN-13 : 978-0232531305
- Item Weight : 6.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.5 x 8.27 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,400,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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*UPDATED* REVIEW* Unfortunately, I have to change my review from "5 stars" to only 1 star. The author rambled on & on. It seems like he just wanted to hear himself "think" as if he was writing in a journal/diary. Sorry, but my journal makes better sense. The more I read the more boring & tedious it became until I couldn't understand a word he was saying. At first I thought it might be me...but no, it wasn't.
He wrote in the first chapter of this 2014 book, “I think [David Attenborough and Brian Cox] are quite wrong when they discount spirituality. I also believe that science itself points in a very different direction. There is a huge amount evidence for the reality of a spiritual dimension to the world, and human life is going to be very different if the idea of God … disappears. But the fact that there is a huge amount of evidence has become so little recognized that it is going to have to be argued for.” (Pg. 2)
He continues, “I will look at six main areas of human experience: at the arts, at morality, at philosophy, at science, at religion, and at personal experience. In each area, I will try to show that there are special experiences of values, and that these experiences are evidence for the existence of more than simply physical facts… When you take all these areas together, the evidence builds up to an impressive argument for seeing the world that we experience as communicating spiritual values---a ‘sense for the spiritual dimension’ that is beyond and yet expressed in and through physical facts…. I want to argue that… there are lots of human experiences that are, taken together, good evidence for the Spirit… Belief in Spirit will not be a mere leap of faith without any supporting evidence. It will be a fully rational and sensitive approach to the richest at most important parts of human experience.” (Pg. 10-11)
He cautions, “It should be clear that looking for evidence for God, of for Spirit, or for spiritual reality, is not going to be like looking for evidence for some exotic animal… If you wonder whether there is a reality of supreme understanding, beauty and bliss, you are not going to find that out by looking for visible marks that some physical object makes. Spirit is not a physical object, so we will not be looking for evidence for something physical… Maybe that is why some scientists say there is no evidence for God or for spiritual reality…. So it is not surprising that there is no evidence OF THAT SORT. A different sort of evidence is needed.” (Pg. 6-7)
He observes, “There is no ‘proof’ of one supreme spiritual reality from artistic experience. Art is too various and expressive of too many different perspectives on reality… What art does is to open a window onto depths of meaning and value in reality. In that sense it is evidence for the existence of objective values… not merely constructed by human minds, values which can have real existence… Art is evidence for a spiritual dimension to human experience. This does not get you to God. But there is a problem for a materialist… how can they exist, if the universe is wholly composed only of purely physical elements? It is at this point that the postulation of a non-human mind… in which ideas of beauty exist… strikes many as reasonable and natural.” (Pg. 19-20)
He argues, “I am saying that belief in objective moral facts is entirely reasonable and entirely natural. If God exists, moral facts is entirely reasonable and entirely natural. If God exists, moral facts will have a natural and intelligible place in reality. That makes moral experience evidence for God, as well as for some rather different , non-theistic but definitely non-materialist, views.” (Pg. 30)
He acknowledges, “Looking for evidence of cosmic purpose will be very different from looking for evidence that some rare physical animal exists somewhere in the universe. But there are certainly considerations that count for or against the existence of purpose…. I accept, however, that the evidence is not of the sort that will convince everyone… That fact will nevertheless help to make my main point, which is that evidence does exist, but that there is no way of conclusively establishing a conclusion to everyone’s satisfaction. Therefore it is false to say that there is no evidence for cosmic purpose. And it is false to say that belief in a cosmic mind which formulates such a purpose is somehow less rational than disbelief or agnosticism about such a mind.” (Pg. 38)
He suggests, “Some religious people think that a perfect God would never create anything evil, so that everything that happened would always be good. If that was true, then God would never have created us!... maybe God need not have created us. But if God wanted to create us, with all our faults and failings, maybe God had not much choice about the basic laws and forces that would make up our universe.” (Pg. 45)
He explains, “The God theory is not a scientific theory because it makes no detailed predictions about the future. That is hardly surprising… It does make some predictions---goodness will triumph, evil will be eliminated, the righteous will see God. But these predictions are not testable at the moment, and mostly lie far in the future, or even in some other form of existence. The job of the God theory is not, however, to provide predictions. It is to provide a basis for believing that the universe, and each life in particular, has a unique and valuable purpose which is given to it by a being of supreme perfection and power who can ensure that purpose will be realized.” (Pg. 68)
He asserts, “Nobody seriously thinks that God just sets the universe going, and then ignores it altogether. The real question is… whether the whole universe, at every moment, depends on some deeper reality beyond itself… The universe does not keep going by itself. It is a consequence … of deeper goings on beyond our space-time… All the theist adds to this is that the deeper reality is conscious and purposive, not blind and pointless. This cosmic mind does not just set the universe going. Without its continued existence and support the universe would not exist at all.” (Pg. 74-75)
He proposes, “the psychologist William James… made some suggestions about rational believing… Some of these beliefs will be ‘vital’---they will be of great practical importance… I have argued that the belief that there is a spiritual dimension to reality is such a belief… If such a belief is supportive of personal values and commitment to living a good human life, that is a good reason for accepting it, for trying it and seeing if it ‘works’—if it makes for a good, happy and fulfilled life… it would be irrational to ignore the inclinations of the heart towards the good, which help to make us fully personal beings.” (Pg. 135-136)
He concludes, “This is the goal of the spiritual life---to know Spirit in all things, and to know all things in the Spirit… Spirit is not only real, but the one enduring reality that is expressed in everything that exists, and yet is infinitely beyond anything that can ever be fully expressed and understood by us… It is the heart of the idea of God. It remains for many millions that which is most fully real, the goal of life’s greatest journey, and, so millions hope, is it what lies at last to be revealed beyond the vail of this world’s time.” (Pg. 138)
This book will be of keen interest to those looking for “evidence” for God/Spirit that is not simply “scientific” and dryly “factual.”
Top reviews from other countries
Ward rightly debunks a common, materialist view that empirical data and science are the only logical ways to address the question of the existence of God. He points to the fact that evidence on both sides of the argument about the existence of God is inconclusive but concludes it is valid to commit “oneself to a belief which is well but not conclusively evidenced”.
Ward is a clear thinker and an honest presenter. This book has a flow which draws the reader along and enables understanding. The demand is to keep mentally questioning the premises presented and in doing so the book further gains in value. Those with an open and enquiring mind will find a helpful framework within this book.