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 Post subject: Book suggestions for agnostic friend
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:07 pm 
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Hello all.

So I have a friend I want to draw in or help in any way, he's an agnostic of sorts, was raised slightly Catholic. I've talked philosophy a few times with him and he's open to the existence of God, he just doesn't seem to consider the question much.
Now I wanted to give him some books to surreptitiously start making him think, and maybe colour his mind with the Truth :mrgreen:

He's never taken any philosophy work, so I was considering giving him a copy of Nichomachean Ethics and maybe eventually a copy of the Summa when I think he's ready. Any advice on what/how to go about here?


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 Post subject: Re: Book suggestions for agnostic friend
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:08 pm 
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Would strongly advise against either NE or the Summa. Both require far too much background knowledge to be helpful at this stage. Feser, on the other hand, is often and widely recommended. I'm also very partial to Gilson's Unity of Philosophical Experience, depending on the type of person he is. As you have talked philosophy, that book might help him appreciate what philosophy actually is and get him open to and interested in an Aristotelian/Thomistic approach to philosophy more generally. On the other hand, you could give him something much more direct . . . I liked Joseph Owen's An Interpretation of Existence, though as with anything by Owens, it's denser . . . maybe too dense if he's never taken any philosophy.

If you go with Feser, you might want to consider carefully before you give him, say, The Last Superstition. It is highly polemical, and while packed with great information and argument, the tone might be a bit much for your friend. Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide is great but, of course, focused directly on Aquinas' philosophy. Your friend may not be interested in that just yet? And his (Feser's) Five Proofs of the Existence of God is good but might be a bit on the nose. Maybe his Philosophy of the Mind, which I've not yet read but have read good things about, would be a good alternative -- not explicitly about Thomism or God's existence but also not requiring too much philosophical background. And at the risk of sounding self-serving, I've been told by several people now that my book on simplicity, linked in my signature, has helped them quite a bit either in becoming theists or developing a deeper, more philosophically grounded, understanding of their faith.

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Making Divine Simplicity Simple: Rediscovering Who and What God Is - an evangelical's (my!) attempt to explain Divine Simplicity in non-technical language
The Galatian Heresy (Gal 3:1-6) - An Argument for Sanctification by Faith Alone


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 Post subject: Re: Book suggestions for agnostic friend
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:07 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Would strongly advise against either NE or the Summa.

Agree.

It's hard to answer a question like this. What's the guy's capacity? What's his interest level? What's his attention span? Suggesting he read The Plague and then The Lord of the Rings might be as good a way as any to see the difference belief in God makes. That's got nothing to do with the theoretical question of whether God exists, but it sure shows why one ought to consider the question.

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 Post subject: Re: Book suggestions for agnostic friend
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:13 pm 
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I will take those suggestions into consideration, thanks everyone!!!


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