- Library Binding: 551 pages
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1435290801
- ISBN-13: 978-1435290808
- Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Doubt: A History : the Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson Library Binding – Import, 29 May 2008
|Library Binding, Import, 29 May 2008||
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Starting from Socrates, Plato, Cicero and other Greek doubters; through Buddha, Newton, Galileo, Robespierre, onto Jefferson, Adams, Paine, and Franklin in early America to Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, Susan B. Anthony, Keats, Emily Dickenson, and Mark Twain were major doubters along with many others that came in the Enlightenment Era. She identifies so many poets and writers that tried, and eventually succeeded, to take power away from the church. I love Socrates statement that he knew absolutely nothing about astronomy/theology, but he was still the smartest person around because he knew that he knew nothing.
"Doubt" is such a great title, it means almost the same as 'agnostic' or 'skeptic' but everybody knows the definition of 'doubt'. Some reviewers accuse her of meaning 'atheist', but I don't think they have read this book - an atheist can't conceive of a God. Most people described here are wrestling and debating with the idea of a God and afterlife.
The 10th and final chapter (1900-) along with 'Conclusion' is my favorite part of the book and easier to read than the earlier chapters, although the whole book is eye-opening and I appreciate her effort at trying to keep it light throughout. Because so many writers had very lofty, difficult to explain ideas, some a bit over-educated, or just trying to be obtuse in order not to be burned alive, much of the first half of the book was a chore to read; I was still blown away by the sheer amount of information. The section on Mark Twain's writing's (pg. 441) on this subject is amusing and so to-the-point.
After riding the fence for decades, this book pushes me off the fence and convinces me that I am not wrong in believing that if there is a God he is not answering prayers and does nothing against evil in the world. The amazing author Ayaan Hirsi Ali is correct- THAT God is not a 'loving all-powerful engaged God' and not worthy of worship.
Carl Bauer, PhD, Prescott Valley, Arizona