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parsed(2023-09-26) - pubdate: 09/23
pub date: 1695704400
today: 1718946000, pubdate > today = false

nyp: 0;

Owning the Unknown

A Science Fiction Writer Explores Atheism, Agnosticism, and the Idea of God

September 26, 2023 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781634312424
Reader Reward Price: $21.56 info
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Although humankind today can peer far deeper into the universe than ever before, we still find ourselves surrounded by the unknown and perhaps the unknowable. All great science fiction has used the human imagination to explore that realm beyond the known, just as theistic religions have done since long before the genre existed. As Hugo Award-winning author Robert Charles Wilson argues in Owning the Unknown, the genre's freewheeling speculation and systematic world-building make it it a unique lens for understanding, examining, and assessing the truth claims of religions in general and Christianity in particular. Drawing on his personal experience, his work as a science fiction writer, and his deep knowledge of the classics of the genre, he makes the case for what he calls intuitive atheism--an atheism drawn from everyday personal knowledge that doesn't depend on familiarity with the scholarly debate about theology and metaphysics, any more than a robust personal Christianity does. And as he reminds us, the secrets that remain hidden beyond the borders of the known universe--should we ever discover them--will probably not resemble anything currently found in our most prized philosophies, our most sacred texts, or our most imaginative science fiction.

About this Author

Robert Charles Wilson's novels include Blind Lake, Julian Comstock, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin. His work has been translated into several languages and has received Japan's Seiun Award, the French Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, and Germany's Kurd Lasswitz Prize, among others. He lives outside of Toronto with his wife, Sharry.

ISBN: 9781634312424
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 216
Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing
Published: 2023-09-26


"[Starred review] When contemplating the existence of God, how does one determine what questions to ask in order to find the most correct answers? While this may seem like a strange question for a science-fiction writer to pose, Hugo Award-winning Wilson proves himself to be just the person to tackle it. . . . He invites readers, whether theist or atheist, to question what they believe and why . . . encouraging readers to come to their own conclusions and, along the way, consider how and why they arrived at them." --Library Journal 

"An absolutely first-rate book; I loved it. With this slim volume, Robert Charles Wilson brings gentle reasoning, good humor, and a healthy dose of humility to a field of discourse that's hitherto been dominated by the sneering tomes of Richard Dawkins and other New Atheists. Wilson gently deconstructs the arguments of believers and builds his own positions with the deft hand of a logician and the questing spirit of a philosopher. For believers and nonbelievers alike, this is an amiable evening spent with one who approaches the ultimate questions with respect for those who hold differing opinions and discusses them with -- dare I say it? -- grace. A masterwork; highly recommended." --Robert Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Calculating God.

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