The Washington Post Notable Non-Fiction of 2013 “I can imagine few more enjoyable ways of thinking than to read this book.”—Sarah Bakewell, New York Times Book Review, front-page review Tackling the “darkest question in all of philosophy” with “raffish erudition” (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This runaway bestseller, which has captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Holt adopts the role of cosmological detective, traveling the globe to interview a host of celebrated scientists, philosophers, and writers, “testing the contentions of one against the theories of the other” (Jeremy Bernstein, Wall Street Journal). As he interrogates his list of ontological culprits, the brilliant yet slyly humorous Holt contends that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God versus the Big Bang. This “deft and consuming” (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times) narrative humanizes the profound questions of meaning and existence it confronts.
'Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?' remains the most curious and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. Moving away from the narrower paths of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking, the celebrated essayist Jim Holt now enters this fascinating debate with his broad, lively and deeply informed narrative that traces all our efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. With sly humour and a highly original personal approach Holt takes on the role of cosmological detective. Suggesting that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God and the Big Bang, he tracks down, among others, an eccentric Oxford philosopher, a Nobel Laureate physicist, a French Buddhist monk, and John Updike just before he died, to pursue this cosmic puzzle from every angle. As he pieces together a solution - while offering useful insights into time, consciousness, and eternity - he sheds fascinating new light on the meaning of existence. A New York Times bestseller on first publication, this new paperback edition provides a much-needed new take on history's greatest conundrum, in the vein of previous bestsellers like Michael Brooks' 13 Things that Don't Make Sense.
Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity
Author: Wayne Glausser
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Something Old, Something New: Contemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity offers a fresh perspective on debates surrounding a significant if underappreciated relationship between religious and secular interests. In entanglement, secularity competes with religion, but neither sideachieves simple dominance by displacing the other. As secular ideas and practices entangle with their religious counterparts, they interact and alter each other in a contentious but oddly intimate relationship. In each chapter, Wayne Glausser focuses on a topic of contemporary relevance in which something old - e. g., the sacrament of extreme unction, Greek rhetorical tropes, scholastic theology - entangles with something new: psilocybin therapy for the dying, new atheism, cognitive science. As traditionalreligious knowledge and values come into conflict with their secular counterparts, the old ideas undergo stress and adaptation, but the influence works in both directions. Those with primary allegiance to secular interests find themselves entangled with aspects of religious thinking. Whether they doit intentionally or without knowing, entangled secularists engage with and sometimes borrow from older paradigms they believe they have surpassed. Glausser's approach offers a new perspective in the conversation between believers and secularists. Something Old, Something New is a book that theists,atheists, agnostics, and everyone still searching for the right label will find respectful but provocative.
This book provides a philosophical argument for the reasonableness of Christian faith in today's world. Diogenes Allen shows how Christian belief is now being supported by scientific and philosophical principles--perhaps for the first time in 300 years.
Why are we here? Who really wrote the Bible? Was Jesus actually a messenger of God? Can science and religion be reconciled? Do we have free will? Divine Wisdom and Warning: Decoded Messages from God introduces a new way of using the ancient system of Gematria to solve these and other timeless questions. Nicholas Gura has developed an original technique, easily reproducible without the use of computers, that uncovers hidden, encoded messages in the Bible. These mathematically generated messages are both profound and metaphoric and will contribute to the meaning, quality, and purpose of our lives. Divine Wisdom and Warning reveals new insights on the parting of the Red Sea, suffering, quantum physics, the environment, treatment of women, and answers the eternal question: What is God’s true religion?
In a critical dialogue with the metaphysical tradition from Plato to Hegel to contemporary schools of thought, the author convincingly argues that traditional rationalist metaphysics has failed to accomplish its goal of demonstrating the existence of a divine cause and moral purpose of the world. To replace the defective rationalist metaphysics, the author builds a new metaphysics on the idea that moods and affects make manifest the world's felt meanings; he argues that each feature of the world is a felt meaning in the sense that each feature is a source of a feeling-response, if and when it appears. The author asserts that we must synthesize our two ways of knowing-poetic evocations and exact analyses-in order to decide which mood or affect is the appropriate appreciation of any given feature of the world. Smith gives evocative and exact explications of such features as the world's temporality, appearance, and mind-independency, as these features appear in the appropriate recitations.
Where do we come from? Are we merely a cluster of elementary particles in a gigantic world receptacle? And what does it all mean? In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and everything else. This all-inclusive being does not exist and cannot exist. For the world itself is not found in the world. And even when we think about the world, the world about which we think is obviously not identical with the world in which we think. For, as we are thinking about the world, this is only a very small event in the world. Besides this, there are still innumerable other objects and events: rain showers, toothaches and the World Cup. Drawing on the recent history of philosophy, Gabriel asserts that the world cannot exist at all, because it is not found in the world. Yet with the exception of the world, everything else exists; even unicorns on the far side of the moon wearing police uniforms. Revelling in witty thought experiments, word play, and the courage of provocation, Markus Gabriel demonstrates the necessity of a questioning mind and the role that humour can play in coming to terms with the abyss of human existence.
The theory explored in this book contends that animals are not controlled through predation but because they cannot obtain enough of the food they must have to reproduce and grow. This book explains how this comes about in nature and describes some of the ways in which animals have evolved to cope.
Today there are approximately seventy-six million Americans who were born in the years from 1946 to 1965—the baby boomers. In their youth they thrived, voting for a number of entitlements based on assumptions of economic growth that no longer applies. Now, as baby boomers continue aging, they must face a number of potentially disheartening realities. From caring for ailing parents to funding their retirement to facing death, many issues weigh too heavily upon the minds of the baby boomer generation to allow for a peaceful, productive second half of life. What’s more, many of the spiritual belief systems passed down for so many generations no longer provide the comfort or support people need in order to face the challenges of the later half of life. The people need something new. In this second edition of Baby Boomer Lamentations, author and self-proclaimed religious philosopher Lewis Tagliaferre explores the concept of Theofatalism and addresses the rising spiritual concerns of the baby boomers, offering a new outlook to help readers make the inevitable transitions through the later years of life.