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Showing posts from October, 2018

Scialabba, Jacobs, and God's existence: where the real problem lies

Alan Jacobs is right about George Scialabba's latest review essay, in this case of John Gray's new book, Seven Types of Atheism, for The New Republic. Scialabba is always great, but his theological instincts fail him here. As Jacobs observes, Scialabba wants to speak up for nonbelievers who wish God—if he does in fact exist—would simply make himself known in some inarguably clear way. But since, apparently, he does not and has not, that in itself is evidence that no such thing as an all-wise, all-good, all-powerful deity exists; or that, if he does, our knowledge or beliefs about or relationship with God is a negligible matter, and all will be sorted out in the hereafter.

Jacobs takes Scialabba to task for both the unthinking glibness on display (frivolous speculation about our ancient ancestors; writing contemporary mystics and charismatics out of the picture; etc.) and the more serious inattentiveness to what a truly incontrovertible divine self-revelation would mean. Jacobs…