Hats off to the Wall Street Journal for commissioning a pair of essays, short extracts of which are offered below.
Karen Armstrong says we need God to grasp the wonder of our existence
Most cultures believed that there were two recognized ways of arriving at truth. The Greeks called them mythos and logos. Both were essential and neither was superior to the other; they were not in conflict but complementary, each with its own sphere of competence. Logos (“reason”) was the pragmatic mode of thought that enabled us to function effectively in the world and had, therefore, to correspond accurately to external reality. But it could not assuage human grief or find ultimate meaning in life’s struggle. For that people turned to mythos, stories that made no pretensions to historical accuracy but should rather be seen as an early form of psychology; if translated into ritual or ethical action, a good myth showed you how to cope with mortality, discover an inner source of strength, and endure pain and sorrow with serenity.
Richard Dawkins argues that evolution leaves God with nothing to do
Never once are the laws of physics violated, yet life emerges into uncharted territory. And how is the trick done? The answer is a process that, although variable in its wondrous detail, is sufficiently uniform to deserve one single name: Darwinian evolution, the nonrandom survival of randomly varying coded information. We know, as certainly as we know anything in science, that this is the process that has generated life on our own planet. And my bet, as I said, is that the same process is in operation wherever life may be found, anywhere in the universe.
Phi Beta Iota: God is Us, We are God when and only when we achieve a prosperous world at peace, a community of humanity capable of what Barbara Marx Hubbard calls “conscious evolution.” Purveyors of illusions, lies, cults, and other weapons of mass deception are the Devil, the evil that lurks in men’s hearts. From this it follows that public intelligence is akin to Godliness, and covert actions against indigenous communities whose diversity we require, is akin to the presence of Satan.