Between the sublime confidence of both biblical fundamentalists and radical atheists lie various shades of belief, agnosticism, wishful thinking and escapist fantasy. The passion to prove the existence of God has always been frustrated by rationalism and always will be, which is why the subject of God’s existence will continue to be an enigma. This book comprehensively explores the many controversial issues contained within the debate, touching on such questions as the truth of scripture, the validity of miracles, the whole question of the afterlife, and whether, of course, proof on matters of faith is ever going to be possible. Atheists contend that God is an invention for those unable to face the finality of death; believers that the existence of God is the only basis on which to build and live a meaningful life. Bound up with these perennially contested themes are equally searching arguments concerning free will and determinism, morality and ethics, and the moral and social effectiveness of a secular community compared to one administered by religious authority. These questions matter, affecting the way we live our lives, both collectively and as individuals.
Gerald Benedict holds the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, University of London, un diplôme d’études supérieures of the University of Geneva, and a PhD in philosophy from the Open University and the University of London. His particular academic interest is comparative, Eastern-Western, philosophy. Before attending university he was commissioned in the Royal Marines and served in Sierra Leone with the Royal West African Frontier Force. He taught in Colleges of Higher Education and in Universities in the UK, and has lived France since 1986.
He is the award-wining author of a novel, several short stories and radio drama for the BBC World Service. Completed novels are looking for a literary agent. His non-Fiction includes, A Dictionary of Religions and Secular Faiths, The Maya Prophecies for 2012, The Maya, 2012 – The End of the World or the Dawn of Enlightenment? The Maya Prophecies for 2012 – The Message and the Vision (Illustrated), The Five-minute Philosopher, the God Debate, and anthologies of Buddhist, Chinese and Celtic texts.