It really isn't all about debunking bad science, despite the title. Instead, it goes into a variety of topics related to science in society, and as I said, his discussion of the topics is very thoughtful and not antagonistic. While I don't agree with everything he says, I do think he handled the subject matter quite masterfully.
This really is just a reference book for introductory philosophy courses, and it did not translate well at all to the audio format. I'm sure the actual content is of good quality, but it is NOT for the armchair philosopher. As the narrator listed off each component of each argument, it was very difficult to keep track of what was being said. I'm sure reading it would have been better, but again, this isn't a book for readers who just want to know more about the 100 best arguments. It's for people who need to know how the arguments are technically structured.
The history is great. There's good character development, the reading is adequate, the book is generally well written... Yet, the majority of the book is spent focusing on making life as miserable as possible for the protagonists you care about. Imagine your sister being raped then locked in a dungeon. Now imagine reading a story about it. You would have to be a psychopath to enjoy it, and that is what this book is like.
Sam Harris explains what should be obvious, but isn't to most people. His logic is astounding, and he covers a lot of ground quite effectively in a short amount of time. My only criticism is that he writes like an intellectual, which may be off putting and confusing to the lay listener.
This is what was going through my head the entire audiobook. Although I agree with his premise and most of the points he makes, the flow of the book is a complete and utter mess. One minute he's talking about Glenn Beck, then about James Madison, and I really have no idea why. Once he gets on a topic (Terri Schiavo for example) the flow of the details and the descriptions are really great. It's just that he jumps from topic to topic without really any rhyme or reason.
As the other reviews say, Michael is a better speaker than reader. He's also really bad at pronunciation. If you can get beyond that (I certainly did), this really is a fantastic book. I certainly hope that this will inspire more people to adopt a skeptical philosophy. Yet, I'm sure there are many who would have a hard time with the book. Namely those who fell asleep in science class and stayed awake in Sunday school. But really, EVERYONE needs to read/listen to this book.
Extremely well researched, reasoned, and fair. For anyone who wants a materialistic explanation of religion via a detailed investigation of the specific contexts that led to conflicting ideologies, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. Of course, I really would like to know what the real scholars think of all of the claims and explanations. So far, I haven't found anything yet.
Maybe I'm dense, but I sure thought this book was a bit on the dry and hard to follow side. Good information to be sure, but a lot of the book goes into excrutiating detail about math experiments. If you're fond of reading academic math journals, this book is for you.
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