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Showing posts with the label Good and Evil

Genesis for Normal People by Enns and Byas A Book Review

  Genesis for Normal People A Guide to the Most Controversial,      Misunderstood, and Abused Book of the Bible By     Peter Enns &    Jared Byas   Reviewed by     Geoffrey W. Sutton I agree with the authors that Genesis for Normal People is for those who want to a better understanding of Genesis without mastering Hebrew and attending seminary. I’ve thought about what I wish they had included but I’m neither a religious scholar nor a popular author so, I’ll offer a summary of the book and note some points worth considering. Depending on how much you have read about this old document called Genesis, you might learn a few things like I did or at least think about Genesis in a different way. My plan is to present a summary of this easy-to-read introduction to Genesis by focusing on the authors’ key points. 1. Genesis is an ancient Israelite story. To understand that story requires an appreciation of the Israelites who likely received it after returning from exile i

The End of Faith-A Book Review by Sutton

THE END OF FAITH:  RELIGION, TERROR, AND THE FUTURE OF REASON      By      Sam Harris Reviewed by      Geoffrey W. Sutton The 9/11 Islamic terrorists emblazoned the psychological truism of the path from belief to behavior on the minds of millions. The world saw the lethiferous power of religious belief. We witnessed the purpose driven death. Sam Harris pummels readers with invidious images of destruction associated with religious belief. We may well dispute many of his conclusions but the ineluctable truth is that beliefs matter. At times acerbic, Harris has prepared a puissant polemic focused primarily upon the terror of Islam with ample scathing visited upon Christianity and Judaism.  His thesis is that the beliefs of religious people have become unhinged from reason to the point that meaningful conversations cannot take place.  He asserts that reason is in exile (chapter 1) and that survival requires a return from unproven beliefs to evidenced-based reason when makin

When Religion Becomes Evil- A book review by Sutton

Church afire 2023 Geoffrey W Sutton & Bing AI When Religion Becomes Evil:      Five Warning Signs:  Revised and Updated By  Charles Kimball Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton   In the aftermath of 9/11 and during the onslaught of religion-damning missives from the ‘‘evangelical atheists’’ Dawkins (2006), Hitchens (2007), and Harris (2004), Kimball provides a ‘‘gentle introduction to the critical study of comparative religion’’ (p. vi). In seven chapters, he outlines five  critical ways that religion can lead to tragic, even violent outcomes, and offers suggestions that may promote better relationships between people of different religious traditions. In the end, he argues for respect for diverse faiths and traditions. Kimball is uniquely qualified to write this informative  work. He is an ordained Baptist minister and a professor of comparative religion at Wake Forest University. He obtained his doctorate from Harvard University in comparative religion where he specialized in

The Social Psychology of Morality

The Social Psychology of Morality: Exploring the causes   of Good and Evil Edited by     Mario Mikulincer &     Phillip R. Shaver Reviewed by       Kayla Jordan  &  Geoffrey W Sutton Psychological scientists have built on the ideas put forth by philosophers for centuries. Surveys, laboratory studies, and theory building have significantly expanded our understanding of how people determine what is moral. This handbook includes the work of 40 authors and is published by the American Psychological Association. Our article was published as a featured review in the Journal of Psychology and Theology (Jordan & Sutton, 2012). I (Sutton) draw on that article in this summary. My purpose is to provide readers with an overview of the contents of this sizable volume. I will also comment on my follow-up work to fill a need identified by Roy Baumeister and Jesse Graham in the conclusion chapter. The editors open the discussion with a quote by Oscar Wilde.   “Mora