Download Who Knows?: A Study of Religious Consciousness by Raymond M. Smullyan PDF

By Raymond M. Smullyan

Is there quite a God, and if this is the case, what's God truly like? Is there an afterlife, and if this is the case, is there this type of factor as everlasting punishment for unrepentant sinners, as many orthodox Christians and Muslims think? And is it rather actual that our subconscious minds are attached to a better non secular fact, and if that is so, may this better religious fact be the exact same factor that religionists name "God"? In his most up-to-date booklet, Raymond M. Smullyan invitations the reader to discover a few attractive and a few terrible principles regarding non secular and mystical proposal. partially One, Smullyan makes use of the writings on faith via fellow polymath Martin Gardner because the start line for a few encouraged principles approximately faith and trust. half makes a speciality of the doctrine of Hell and its justification, with Smullyan providing strong arguments on each side of the debate. "If God requested you to vote at the retention or abolition of Hell," he asks, "how may you vote?" Smullyan has posed this query to many believers and bought a few staggering solutions. within the final a part of his treasurable triptych, Smullyan takes up the "beautiful and inspiring" rules of Richard Bucke and Edward wood worker on Cosmic realization. Readers will appreciate Smullyan’s observations on faith and in his clear-eyed presentation of many new and startling rules approximately this such a lot marvelous made of human consciousness.

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Extra resources for Who Knows?: A Study of Religious Consciousness

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Let us consider a related point. Suppose a person inclined toward materialism is skeptical about the existence of souls altogether. Is there any scientific experiment one could perform to test whether there are souls? I know of only one experiment that has been tried (and I call this a good experiment)—namely, weighing a person just before and just after he dies. Of course, there was no loss in weight. Is a materialist, therefore, justified in concluding that there are probably no souls? Of course not; the correct conclusion is that, if souls exist, they have no weight.

50). I must say that this last idea struck me forcibly—it is one that never occurred to me before. Could it really be spite provoked by inability to share the belief? I wouldn’t be surprised if this is so in some cases, but I can think of another explanation—fear of having false hopes! To begin with, why are some people so dogged in their belief that there definitely is no afterlife? They give so-called “rational scientific” arguments, which, in fact, are extremely poor (for reasons I have indicated), and which are nothing more than sheer rationalizations.

It seems to me that it might be possible to combine the Brahmanic model of the two Brahmas with that of an evolving deity— namely, the higher Brahma is a perfect being existing not as an actuality, but as a Platonic ideal, and the lower Brahma is the evolving deity, existing actively and ever-moving in the direction of the higher Brahma. ) Coming back to the problem of evil, I once told the Jehovah’s Witness of whom I spoke earlier that I find it most implausible that a perfect God would create an imperfect world.

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