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« Ethics Bites podcast now available on iTunesU | Main | Raymond Tallis on Parmenides »

November 30, 2008


Niall O Sullivan

Hello, I am 17 years old and love your podcasts, they are a major reason behind why I want to study philosophy at university, I draw particular attention to your podcasts on Paradox and Freidrich Nietzsche's Master-Slave Morality.

However, after listening to your latest podcast I found Don Cupitt's position quite bizarre. It seems to me that if one was to substitute the word "God" for "Ubermensch" in this whole podcast, there would be an almost direct interpretation of the "higher man" postulated by Nietzsche. Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

Thanks for your time.
Keep up the awesome work!

Jim Vaughan

I really like Don Cupitt's comittment to dialogue, his rejection of the anthropomorphic God 'up there' and his attempt to bridge the atheist-theist dialectic. However, I don't think his synthesis works. If God is just 'life', or 'our deepest concerns' then 'God' becomes a redundant word/concept.

Kierkegaard's 'leap of faith' is about reaching for God as something transcendent:- beyond the horizon of our familiar rational conceptual world. People who experience the divine are changed by it. Don's God is too tame, too anthropocentric. Think of Saul on the Damascus Road, or Thomas Aquinas, or even C.S.Lewis in 'Surprised by Joy'. Many ordinary people's lives are changed dramatically by such encounters. They are lightning striking the soul!

We need rebels like Don Cupitt. The church is stuck in the 1900s, and we need his fresh approach. However, I would urge him to look at the mystical writings not just from Christianity, but from all the major religions - East and West. There is a commonality of human experience to be found here. Meditation, contemplation, prayer, repetition, silence etc. are methods used by all religions to find these depths. Knowledge is based on experience, we cannot just work it out a priori.

P.S. I love philosophybites - you have such interesting people and themes! Please keep up the excellent podcasts.

Anne is a Man

I really was inspired by this particular issue of your podcast. I like all of those I have heard and managed to listen to quite a few of them.
As in the past I have reviewed this podcast on my blog at

I was wondering whether I had taken Cupitt's non-realism of god entirely in the wrong direction. I felt he was arguing we do not need god to really exist, for to be meaningful in our realm of ideas. It reminded me of the naturalistic fallacy of confusing a word with its meaning.

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