Sweeping attempt to explain the existence of God.
Inspired by his brush with death–which he juxtaposes with the actual death of an atheist friend–the author attempts to explain for believers and nonbelievers alike whether God exists. The task is neither new nor easy, and Dwyer calls upon a full range of thinkers and fields of study to build his case. In some ways, he gives strength to his argument through the book’s depth and complexity; in others, the answer, and even the quest for it, is lost in details. Dwyer begins with a lengthy exposition of how humans think and what constitutes consciousness. Comfortable with science, he disputes some absolutist stances. For instance, he takes the author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, to task, contrasting natural selection with natural law and finds the former wanting. After this deep foray into biology, psychology and evolution, he moves on to philosophical arguments for and against God, drawing from several thinkers: Aquinas, Anselm, Spinoza, Kant, Descartes, among others. Rather convincingly, he shows that while proving a personal God exists might not be possible, disproving his existence may be even more so. Belief in God, therefore, is dependent entirely on faith and imagination and cannot be proven by reason alone. Finally, the author discusses ethics and how society should act if we accept God’s existence. Dwyer’s writing, though sometimes too informal, is accessible enough, but the author has chosen a topic difficult to tackle and impossible to resolve, thus his task is an uphill battle–readers may find it difficult terrain.
An informed, but incomplete, stab at one of civilization’s greatest questions.