Shermer discusses some intriguing psychological concepts regarding belief as a behavior, but I felt he spent far more time describing general ideas than necessary, often due to the book's underdefined scope. Combined with his bland presentation style, I had a difficult time staying engaged with the book for any extended period of time.
Readers are Leaders.
This is my first audiobook that I have listened to. I would need listen to more books to give a more accurate answer. However, I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed listening to a book. I am an avid reader and use my Kindle extensively.
I have no context to compare this book with. This book has excited my neuroscience quest.
In general, without giving away too much of the book because I belief people should listen, I found the explanation that was expounded through the whole book of Belief first then Reasons.
The title of the book would be a good film title. Another title, 'Do You Believe?' Or 'Brain Believer'.
I expected this to be somewhat of a diatribe against having a belief in God.
I was impressed by the high degree of professional integrity. He constrained his personal biases primarily to anecdotal and incidental comments. Instead, he employed an abundance of scientific studies regarding how our brains function to deceive us and then deceive us about much we have been deceived.
This book is a worthy read regardless of your personal beliefs about God. If you actually use your brain to think about anything, then you would benefit from this material.
Unlike The Moral Arc, Shermer gave this a strong ending. Arc went into his "feelings" and "beliefs" about libertarianism at the end, rather than a "purely" scientific realm. Trying to "prove" libertarianism is somewhat farfetched after all the books I've read on both sides. It's not like there is any consensus as there is in the scientific community for Global Warming... I was more excited about science in Believing Brain at the end. Overall it was a good learning experience. RTC
Underhand's chief engineer
It's a good listen. Shermer has a great rhythm that keeps almost the entire narration from feeling tedious. The arguments he presents are compelling and based on his decades of research. However, the one chapter he dedicates to political ideology seems a bit too biased. He plainly states his views and after discouraging stereotypes, seems to imply that political leanings are one area where reason can't trump impulse. Indeed, the chapter almost feels like a justification for his own political beliefs.
The main detractor... Despite all of his evidence, he never addressed whether behavioral traits are really inherent or encouraged through social norms.
I very much enjoyed this audiobook! There were some odd mistakes and mispronunciations, but it didn't detract from the content too much. Even if one disagrees with Shermer's beliefs or messages, which even I do on occasion, there is plenty to be garnered from this book, and that is due in large part to how accessible Shermer wrote this book to be. I highly recommend it!
I really did not enjoy this book. I have a rule that I listen all the way through every book that I get -- and I was glad this one was over. His ultimate premise -- that science is great and everything that cannot be proven by the scientific method is a trick of the mind and cannot be trusted -- is all well and good, but the book could have been half as long and make the same point. There was a whole section on the history of science that seemed forced in toward the end of the book and didn't seem to contribute at all to the thesis. In fact, there was a number of times throughout the book that I was left thinking: so what's the point? Why is this discussion here? In short, it may just be my "believing brain" --- but I believe that I should have passed on this one.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
A conundrum is a difficult problem or question. Michael Sherman deals with the biggest conundrum of all. Shermer is an academic psychologist, writer, myth buster, and faith breaker. Shermer characterizes himself as a religious skeptic.
Shermer notes that science is the key to knowledge. Science requires experimentally reproducible results, and when experimental results cannot be precisely reproduced, knowledge changes. Man is on the verge of scientifically proving that Higgs Boson particles exist, 16 years after they were conceptually discovered.
“Patternicity” and “agenticity” are essential characteristics of an inquiring, scientific mind. One must presume that is why Shermer chooses to call himself a skeptic rather than an atheist when asked if he believes in God; i.e. more like a person losing faith rather than God.