©2003 Jennifer Michael Hecht; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A bold and brilliant work and (lucky us) highly readable, thanks to the elegant and witty author." (Garrison Keillor)
"A magisterial book...Hecht's poetical prose beautifully dramatizes the struggle between belief and denial...The breadth of this work is stunning." (Publishers Weekly)
If you never went through a cavalcade of studying the works of people who called b!?&sh@/ on religion, then this is the book for you. What a great education in the scope of these works. I really felt grounded around the issue of doubt through time as a result of reading it. It also upset me in that I was left with an overall feeling of hopelessness of safe coexistence with religion. Religion seems to come back with a vengeance and kill off or at least destroy the careers of people who say "No" to the delusions of its unvalidated precepts. It seems as though doubting ends up being a game of Whack-a-Mole.
This is a history book. And though more entertaining than a typical history book, it is still a history book. That being said, it should be on every humanists digital bookcase. While Dawkins and Hitchens have provided you a reason to question your faith, Doubt: Gives you the history of brilliant people who have sought the answers before you. I find myself reliably returning to this book, and most certainly will for a long time.
I'm not too sure what I think about Jennifer Michael Hecht's ideas on religions in "Doubt." In many ways, I totally understand her point of view and she gives good examples of scholars, like Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein doubting there is a God and more importantly gives biblical examples on the most famous story about Job and the Jews and their skeptic in a God.
I'm not an atheist, but I don't have wear a Bible belt. There is apart of me that understands that there is no supernatural being once we depart this life. This is how I thought ever since I learned more on different religions. When it comes to a personal belief, it can become a touchy subject. Who is right and who is wrong, but like our freeways, there are so many streets to take to get to the same place. Who are we to say that one religion is the only way to get to a kingdom.
Yes, I believe that the stories were real in the Bible and Jesus died on the cross, but just like historical events in the past, Jesus was just a man. I believe your afterlife is whatever your imagination takes you upon your death. Many of you will meet the angels at the gates in heaven, but I always have questioned the entire process of getting there because it plays on your guilt.
This book is not for everyone. If you have strong beliefs in your religion, you will disagree with this author. There were some parts that was hard for me to get through because of my personal beliefs, but it was interesting to see the evidence and science if there is a god.
I really wanted to like this book, but couldn't. It is a very densely written, scholarly tome more suited for the classroom than for casual listening. If you want to know everything about this subject, then this is the book for you. However, if you want more of an overview, then look elsewhere.
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