God: The Oldest Question By: William J. O*Malley, S.J.

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God: The Oldest Question
-William J. O’Malley, S.J.
By: Lauren Cook, Morgan May,
Eileen Torpy, & Julie Van Dyn
Hoven
Biography of William O’Malley
• Born August 18, 1931
• American Jesuit Priest
• Ordained June 19, 1963
• Author: of 37 books
• Actor: Played Fr. Dyer in
Exorcist
• Professor: at Fordham
University
• Catholic School in New York
Chapter Summaries
1. To the Seeker.
• O’Malley argues humans are unique in their constant search for
something more.
• People achieve their full humanity through their search and those
who have not struggled with the larger questions are incomplete.
2. The Path To God Through Atheism—By examining the theories
regarding a lack of God’s existence, people can grow in their
understanding of belief and unbelief. The four major cases for Atheism
are:
• “Problem of Pain” How can a good, knowing, all-competent God
allow the anguish innocents.
• “Occam’s razor” Beings are not to be postulated unless they are
inescapable; to be truthful, we don’t need a God.
• “Meaningless of the term God” which denotes an objectively
invalidated entity like unicorn or Santa
• “Negative consequences of belief” If we can cure ourselves of the
illusion of God, we can take back our human dignity and autonomy
from the hands of a tyrannical Bogeyman and an arrogant clergy
3. A Suspicion of Transcendence—“If there is Bach, there must be
God” Two sides of the brain need to work together to lead to
“Mysterium Tremendum” “Vulnerability is an absolute
prerequisite”44.
4. Nubale and Neutrinos, Quasars and Quarks—Scientific pursuit is
not foreign to the pursuit of God. “Seekers for God can learn from
the practitioners of science, especially in their expectations—and
their demands for evidence.”
5. Crossing the Abyss
• “Give one argument against this statement: God does not exist.”
Many people don’t challenge their faith until some large event
forces them to. The abyss is the commonality of struggles that all
religions face, no matter the backgrounds or viewpoints.
6. & 7. The Eastern and
Western Faces
• These sections look at
different prominent
philosophies and religions
as a way to continue
exploration of God and
how each person identifies
his/her faith.
• Judaism, Christianity, Islam
• Buddhism, Hinduism,
Taosim, Confucianism
8. If Only God Would Show Us How
• Through Jesus’s words, actions, and teachings we can make
peace with the idea that ‘God is God and we are not’
9. The Everyday God
• Rather than just
finding out about
God, we should
try to find God.
Trying to define
God (though
important) is not
as crucial as
making a
connection with
God.
God reveals
himself in our
every day lives.
• Can you be fully human without
seeking?
People don’t question their
faith until something calls it
into question.
• Give one argument that proves that God exists.
Faith as a calculated risk or faith
as a blind leap.
• What calculations or leaps have you had to make?
• What allows to believe or not believe in God?
Religion encompasses God.
• How would you describe religion?
• How would you describe God?
God the Father by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515
God is a father.
• Why do we feel the need to make God tangible?
God in the Media
•
•
•
•
Jesus Christ Super Star
Godspell
The Last Temptation of Christ
Jesus of Nazareth

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