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Class 1: Is there a God

Page history last edited by Ian D Goddard 10 years, 9 months ago

  

 

 

 

Rick Warren: Living a life of purpose;“Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, reflects on his own crisis of purpose in the wake of his book's wild success. He explains his belief that God's intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good. Pastor Rick Warren is one of the world's most influential Christians. His Saddleback Church, founded in 1980, boasts a congregation of 22,000, and his Purpose-Driven Life is one of the best-selling books of all time. Warren’s mission is to attack what he calls the five "Global Goliaths" -- spiritual emptiness, egocentric leadership, extreme poverty, pandemic disease, and illiteracy and poor education.”

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Dennett: A secular, scientific rebuttal to Rick Warren; “Philosopher and scientist Dan Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes and are not what we traditionally think they are. His 2003 book Freedom Evolves explores the way our brains have evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's Breaking the Spell examines religious belief through the lens of biology…. in recent years, Dennett has become outspoken in his atheism, and his 2006 book Breaking the Spell calls for religion to be studied through the scientific lens of evolutionary biology. Dennett regards religion as a natural -- rather than supernatural -- phenomenon, and urges schools to break the taboo against empirical examination of religion. He argues that religion’s influence over human behavior is precisely what makes gaining a rational understanding of it so necessary: “If we don’t understand religion, we’re going to miss our chance to improve the world in the 21st century.”

 

 

 

Rev. Tom Honey: How could God have allowed the tsunami?Tom Honey's appeal goes far beyond his own congregation. For years he was the vicar of the church in Oxford attended decades earlier by the Christian thinker C.S. Lewis. The Reverend Honey built a reputation there for thoughtful sermons that disdained cliché or easy answers. They were often willing to grapple with the darker side of life -- pain, loss, grief -- and the challenges these presented to the concept of a loving God.  These challenges were dramatically highlighted by the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami of late 2004 in which some 300,000 people died, making it one of the worst natural disasters in human history. The sermon penned by Honey shortly after was eloquent and powerful enough to win him an invitation to come speak at TED.”          

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