De niet te stoppen fascinatie voor het bewijzen van God

Twee jaar na Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's 36 Arguments for the Existence of God en na vele andere boeken over God, verscheen deze week dit boek van de journalist die zich al jaren met godsbewijzen en vergelijkbare literatuur bezighoudt (zie hier op zijn website b.v. z'n bespreking van Goldsteín's boek)

Nathan Schneider, God in Proof: The Story of a Search from the Ancients to the Internet. University of California Press, June 2013.

De uitgever over het boek:
"In this tour of the history of arguments for and against the existence of God, Nathan Schneider embarks on a remarkable intellectual, historical, and theological journey through the centuries of believers and unbelievers--from ancient Greeks, to medieval Arabs, to today's most eminent philosophers and the New Atheists. Framed by an account of Schneider's own unique journey, God in Proof illuminates the great minds who wrestled with one of history's biggest questions together with their arguments, bringing them to life in their time, and our own. Schneider's sure-handed portrayal of the characters and ideas involved in the search for proof challenges how we normally think about doubt and faith while showing that, in their quest for certainty and the proofs to declare it, thinkers on either side of the God divide are often closer to one another than they would like to think."

Uiteraard is de marketing gestroomlijnd. Zie des schrijvers website. Er verscheen al meteen een eerste interview met hem door Gordon Haber, "The Search For Proofs For God’s Existence." En gisteren verscheen van de hand van Nathan Schneider zelf op de Huffington Post: "10 Proofs That Will Change How You Think About God". [Zie hier]
Kortom, men weet tegenwoordig hoe je een boek "in de markt zet."

Hij schrijft daarin over Spinoza onder
7. The ontological God (or Nature)
When Anselm of Canterbury first alighted on his "ontological" proof for a God -- an idea so perfect that it must actually exist -- the God he had in mind was the one he prayed to in his monastery. But when the Jewish apostate Benedict Spinoza rewrote almost the same proof a few centuries later, the God that popped out from the arguments was very different. To Spinoza, the outcome of the ontological argument was "God, or Nature," an infinite being identical with the universe itself and everything in it. It was a devious reversal of Anselm's original idea. There would be no need, for instance, to bother praying as Anselm did, since you'd be praying, at least in part, to yourself.

Hier heeft Google even voor ons op Schneider's website gezocht naar wat hij verder nog over Spinoza schreef. Niet zoveel.

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Er komt binnenkort nog een boek uit, waaruit blijkt dat het verzinnen van een frappante titel waarschijnlijk heel belangrijk is...

Brad Warner, There Is No God and He Is Always with You: A Search for God in Odd Places. New World Library, Novato, June 2013 [cf]

Zie review by James Ishmael Ford, die stelt: "In the contemporary lexicon, Brad is probably best described as a “new Theist,” taking a naturalistic view, rejecting the idea of a big human in the sky, but seeing the whole may indeed best be described as God. While he shies away from the term pantheist, fearing it too often is seen as materialistic, a term he doesn’t like standing on its own, he pretty much does fit into the pantheistic perspective. I think he and Spinoza might get along very well."
In het boek komt Spinoza niet voor. In deze uitsmijter wel.