Recently Yoram Hazony wrote an OpEd for the NY times which has been generating a considerable amount of discussion on the web. He basically says that the God of the Bible is not perfect is very human and maybe we should stop thinking about him so philosophically as some kind of Maimonidean "perfect being". So far I can't really argue with him. The God of the Bible is not omnipotent omniscient etc. He changes his mind, doesn't know the future gets mad, jealous, sad etc. Historically we know that Jews have not always thought of God as perfect.
However for some reason Hazony seems to think that this return to a simpler God from a simpler time provides some sort of rejoinder to the new atheist movement. As he points out such a conception solves the philosophical problem of evil. If God isn't perfect he can make mistakes and can do evil things.
However this is a very simplistic understanding of atheism. To reduce the entire challenge of atheism to the problem of evil and minor problems of philosophical coherence. These arguments are definitely employed by atheists (IMO they shouldn't be but that's another story) but new atheism amounts to a lot more then just this.
At the end of the day it all boils down to proof. Atheists don't believe in God mainly cuz he cannot be proven not because he is just too incoherent to understand. And bad news for Hazony, you can't prove an imperfect God any more than you can prove a perfect God. (Hell, if anything an imperfect God is harder to prove, because then a bunch of theistic philosophical arguments like the ontological argument for example are out the window).
Hazony if anything has made a minor dent in some tangential atheist arguments. That's about it. Maybe that's all he intended to do but I don't think it changes much about God and his nonexistence.
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