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The Good of Being

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About the author:
Stephen Lovatt was born in 1958 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. The jolt of his mother's death when he was fourteen, made him resolve to become a member of the Methodist Church. He came into the possession of a strange little book called "The Testament of Light" in about 1974. This introduced him for the first time to Plato, Whichcote, Glanville, Mill, Blake, Chesterton, Julian of Norwich, Marcus Aurelius, Nietzsche and The Cloud of Unknowing. It was about this time that he first encountered with Catholicism, in the writings of Teihard de Chardin.

He was accepted to read physics at Trinity College in 1976. While at Cambridge, he discovered the works of Cardinal Newman and as a result was received into the Catholic Church in 1979. After graduating, he worked for about ten years in the electronics industry. During this period he became familiar with the works of Karl Popper and developed an interest in epistemology and the basis of Quantum Mechanics. In 1990, he returned to academic studies researching in relativistic quantum mechanics and multiple scattering theory at Bristol University. At this time he was introduced to the works of Ayn Rand, the American founder of the Objectivist school of philosophy and developed an interest in teleology and ethics.

After obtaining his doctorate in Physics, he returned to the electronics industry, before conducting a stint of post-doctoral research in the fields of Density Functional Theory of the Physics of Liquids. At about this time he discovered the works of Plato. In 2002 he began two years of teacher training, after which he was appointed lecturer in electronics and mathematics at the Army School of Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering. He published his first non-fiction book "New Skins for Old wine: Plato's Wisdom for Today's world" in 2009.

The Good of Being

God, life and the basis of ethics

Authored by Dr Stephen Charles Lovatt

The business of this book is to elucidate the connection between "goodness, value and worth" on the one hand and "life, being and existence" on the other. This may seem like an abstruse academic project, but I believe it to be of great practical importance. I think that a careful consideration of this topic results in a clear vision of what it means to be a living human being; how we ought to live our lives, and so be happy; and what fulfilment we can reasonably hope for.

In the first part of this book (Chapters One to Nine) I argue that mortal existence can only be rationally accounted for and made sense of on the prospect of union with God; as envisaged by Plato of Athens and promised by Jesus of Nazareth.

First I discuss rationality, truth, logic and reality; showing how these ideas are interconnected. I then move on to consider physical existence in general before reflecting on the kind of existence which we identify as life, and in particular the life of sentient and sapient beings.

Next, I discuss the ideas of beauty, justice, love and value. I argue that they are intimately connected, and ultimately united in the single idea of "the Good" or God.

I then consider the relationship between human beings and God: characterized on the one hand by sin, death and futility; and on the other by mercy, love and immortality.

Now, if God is no more than a figment of human imagination, my claim that sense can be made of our mortality by referring it to eternity would not amount to much. Hence, the second part of this book (Chapters Ten to Fourteen) deals with reasons for believing that God is real and that therefore the idea of human immortality is reasonable.

After identifying some wrong reasons for believing in God I address the issue of suffering which legitimately calls God's reality into question. In doing so, I offer a view of the Fall and of Original Sin which casts light on the fundamental purpose of mortal existence and makes it possible to account for why God generally deals with us remotely and obscurely. I then present critical accounts of four potentially sound reasons for believing in the reality of God.

The third part of the book (Chapters Fifteen to Seventeen) addresses more carefully the relationship between mortal existence and Eternal Life.

I discuss the notion of freewill which underpins much of what has gone before and then turn to consider more strictly theological matters: the vocation to enlightenment communion and fellowship with God; the significance of the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth, and how this relates to the Eucharist; and the mission, purpose and business of the Church.

Publication Date:
1480224111 / 9781480224117
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Religion / Christian Theology / Apologetics

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