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Benjamin

ratings
13
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
15

  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4650)
    Performance
    (2024)
    Story
    (1999)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Rick Just says: "Dangerous Religion"
    "Armchair Philosophers and Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Typically, it would be humorous to propose scientific evidence from a work of science fiction. In the same way, quoting Wikipedia in an academic paper produces a comedic effect, and to encounter a complicated philosophical issue with a piece of armchair philosophy is silly. However, this sort of thing is sometimes submitted with grave sincerity, and then it becomes something worse than an innocent jest. It turns into something of an insult to the intelligent men and women who do serious work in the field.

    Richard Dawkins is undoubtedly an intelligent man, and like most intelligent people, it is equally clear that he holds his opinions on whatever subject to which he devotes his attentions to be rather important and insightful. He's a man who doesn't idly waste his own time. Unfortunately, professional philosophers have seen his work and some of them have even tried to correct him, saying with a unanimous conviction that "Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course." It really is quite bad. For instance, he makes strident declarations (twice, I believe) that lead to epistemological skepticism, but perhaps we've misunderstood his intentions.

    It is questionable how seriously he expected anyone to treat this work. It is not written in his usual style, the first-person frame of reference gives away the fact that he is not speaking as a professional, but simply as someone with an opinion, like any of his readers. The book is not organized into an obvious progression but addresses a variety of topics of broadly varying quality and importance. He skips over rather controversial material without a word, neglects to define his terms, doesn't seem overly interested in engaging the arguments of those who intelligently disagree (I'm not even sure he believes they exist), and generally writes as though he is addressing those who already share his position. It seems that Dawkins intended the book simply to provide an outlet for expressing a collection of thoughts that he felt his more avid readers would enjoy perusing. In that case, unfortunately it acts merely as an artifact of belief perseverance for both sides.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • THINK Critically

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Peter Facione
    • Narrated By Mina Sands
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    THINK Critically is a cutting-edge self-reflective guide for improving critical thinking skills through careful analysis, reasoned inference and thoughtful evaluation of contemporary culture and ideas. Taking cues from everyday life -- education, business, health sciences, social work, law, government policy issues and current events -- THINK Critically bridges the principles of critical thinking with real-world application.

    Benjamin says: "Counting electric sheep"
    "Counting electric sheep"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A robotic reader can ruin an otherwise interesting work. It caused a dull ache between my eyes just to concentrate on the narrator's voice, and after seven grueling minutes, I was tempted to accuse Mina Sands of impersonating a human being. I am fairly certain that a computerized voice program of some kind was used. As it is, please be more discerning than I was and take a few minutes to listen to the audio sample that audible offers above. With a little patience, you'll begin to feel my pain but hopefully avoid paying anything to do so.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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