Friday, August 27, 2010

Unpublishing Acts of God

My dear readers, I am just noting here that I am "unpublishing" Acts of God, the book I wrote on analyzing the Bible in terms of how it portrays “acts of God,” and how we might morally interpret these. It is by no means the first time someone has done such an inquiry, although to my knowledge mine was by far the most thorough treatment. However, I am only human, and am prone to imperfect analysis like all of us. I am at least pleased to say that I myself asked the necessary questions and then came up with a higher level of analysis for these so-called acts of God which goes so far beyond the book that it would need to be recast as part of a larger project. I am glad Acts was never published for the regular bookshelves. I do not presently have time to complete that greater project, and will not for some time to come. Acts of God won praise and admiration from a number of people, including professors Ronald de Sousa and James Brown from the University of Toronto, who debate publicly issues related to theism. Dr. Brown wrote:

Without doubt, the long list of horrors that Sztybel extracts from the Bible and presents in unrelenting fashion will be acutely painful for many potential readers. Many will feel provoked to respond....I often do public debates on religious topics and I found the earlier draft he gave me a very useful reference book. I'm sure others will, too. Acts of God is an important and timely book.

James Robert Brown, Philosophy Professor, University of Toronto

I myself was provoked to respond! The book was written during my doctorate, as a kind of diversion from my thesis among other things. I am glad I wrote it, for its material well reinforces the higher level of analysis that I would one day like to publicize. However, I can no longer publish the book as representative of my views on the issues in question. Thank you to all who supported the project, and I hope you will one day be able to read a later work on relevant topics that I would consider to be more promising. It has been the norm for me to improve on my early work in all areas of philosophy, and I cannot help but see that as a good and progressive thing. Through dedicated application and open-minded questioning, we really can improve ourselves, and hopefully help out others by extension.

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