Conservative writer and speaker D’Souza (The Roots of Obama’s Rage, 2010, etc.) draws on years of experience publicly debating atheists in crafting a new argument for the existence, and benevolence, of God.
Though widely sympathetic to the reasons that most atheists and agnostics have decided against faith, the author argues that too often belief against the existence of God stems primarily from a disappointment with God, which is then rationalized into unbelief. Therefore, a defense of God’s existence cannot be divorced from a sound theodicy, an explanation of why God allows pain and evil in the world. After providing a solid background in the concepts of theodicy, free will and atheist arguments as they have been formulated over centuries, the author dives into the heart of his thesis. We live, D’Souza argues, in a world, and a universe, made for humans. In such a world we necessarily encounter positives and negatives. Tectonic plates are seemingly unique to earth, and their slow movements are necessary for life as they create and regulate carbon dioxide on a global scale. The downside? They create earthquakes that sometimes take innocent lives. Water is a foundation to the existence of life. The downside? Floods, which cause extensive damage and lost lives. D’Souza argues this is not proof that God doesn’t care; instead, he asks, what alternative would we prefer? His argument climaxes with the anthropic principle, which points to the tremendous level of chance necessary to create a universe that would lead to life at all, let alone to the existence of humans, as proof that there is a creator. The author is erudite, accessible and clear, and he offers a tremendously wide range of sources. However, he has entered a realm in which no one can be entirely pleased or convinced. Fundamentalists will not like his acceptance of evolution or an “old” universe, while other readers will wince at conclusions like, “While animals feel pain, they do not suffer.”
A modern apologetic with appeal for like-minded readers.