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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Permission to Believe

I had a debate with someone the other night about the existence of G-d. I felt that neither of our arguments were especially convincing, and this was very discouraging. So I decided to do some research on good arguments for the existence of G-d. So, I decided to read Permission to Believe by Rabbi Lawrence Keleman. Rabbi Keleman offers four rational arguments for the existence of G-d. He starts out simple and gets more complex, but even with the more complex of his arguments, he writes in a very clear, straight-forward way that makes his arguments accessible to anyone who is reading. Just to extremely briefly summarize the four arguments: Rabbi Keleman's first argument is that no person can possibly know everything that there is in the universe, so no person can possibly rule anything out of existence either. Therefore, no person can rule out the existence of G-d. His second argument is that if we accept certain moral obligations as being absolute, then G-d must exist because there is no human or group of humans that could have been chosen over time to decide what is right or wrong, because then it would be arbitrary and the morals would change over time. His third argument is that by mathematical proof, scientists have found that the universe is expanding. If the universe is expanding, then it must have started expanding at some point, and therefore, there must have been a beginning to the universe, which necessitates a Creator. His final argument is that the mathematical chance of the universe coming to an existence in the form that it has is so infinitesimally small that it is ridiculous to have any kind of faith that it could occur. His arguments makes more sense than my synopsis of them, so please read the book for yourself. It is a quick, easy and eye-opening book, and I recommend it highly. Next on my reading list: Dr. Gerald Schroeder's Genesis and the Big Bang Rabbi Keleman's Permission to Receive


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