Friday, April 6, 2012

What's God Got To Do With It?

In February of this year I published a book, Dialogues on God: Three Views. So what has God got to do with a blog on democracy, human rights and ethics? Since I am not prepared either to affirm or deny the existence of God, I cannot say. However, beliefs about God and other religious beliefs have a major impact on what people consider to be right or wrong. That, in turn, affects what people do and their political views. You can see this by observing the frequency of the appeals to religious beliefs by those who oppose gay marriage and women’s right to abortions, and the religious sources of those objecting to funding contraceptives. You also see it whenever the President of the United States concludes his speeches with “God bless America.” These are just a few examples.

These dialogues explore beliefs about God from three perspectives, including that of an atheist. It shows how different beliefs about God are linked to different ways of living and apprehending the universe. The three disagreeing dialoguers eventually agree on something quite relevant to democracy. Read the book to find out what it is, and why.

Another way of approaching this subject is an excellent book by Steven R. Prothero, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World (2010). His book is fairly long, easy to read and very informative; mine is short and, I hope, thought-provoking. I suggest you read both.
Read a review (not paid for) of Dialogues on God: Three Views by The Midwest Book Review.