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Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole Paperback – April 26, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Stephen Law offers us not only a primer on how not to believe but about why so many people do believe-bullsh*t, despite the lack of evidence for such beliefs, or even in the face of disconfirmatory evidence. It is a roadmap to a promised land free of undue credulity, where the best ideas win and 'intellectual black holes' no longer suck people in. Believing Bullsh*t should be read by every college freshman and every person seeking public office, and its strategies memorized and put to use by every critical thinker." --D. J. Grothe, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation and host of For Good Reason
"Sadly, the people who would benefit most from Believing Bullsh*t are the least likely to read it. We all get taken in by bullsh*t sometimes, though, and if you think you don't, you definitely should buy this book. But you should anyway." --Nigel Warburton, senior lecturer in philosophy, The Open University (London) and author of Philosophy: The Basics.
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Top Customer Reviews
Early in the book, in the introduction, Law sounds very reasonable when he says that his religious examples of BS should not be taken to mean that no intelligent argument for theism exists. He is, he says, only going after those defenses of theism that employ one of the BS strategies that most of the rest of the book covers (more on that in a second). But despite the fact that Law discusses other types of BS (astrology, crystal healings, UFO cults, etc.), his focus consistently shifts back to theism and it's very clear that despite his earlier protestation to the contrary, and despite often making conciliatory-sounding comments about how there just may be some reasonable defense of theism he hasn't come across yet, Law is one hundred percent convinced that by far the most reasonable position is atheism.
And he makes the case very well, and I think he's right. And that's FINE. Maybe books like this one (the other book "like this" I read recently is Reasonable Atheism: A Moral Case For Respectful Disbelief) are a backlash against some of the harsher and less compromising-sounding books by the so-called New Atheists--Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Vic Stenger and others. Maybe authors like Law were genuinely put off by the "tone" of books that just flat-out insist that there is no good reason for believing in gods, and wished to find a way to soften that message somewhat, to make it sound more soft-spokenly reasonable, less shrill and polemical.Read more ›
The previous reviewer, S J Synder, suggests that my book tries to "prove" there is no God. It doesn't. It does not even to try to show there is probably no God. In fact the book does not argue against theism at all!
However, the book does contain an entire section on the myth of "You can't prove a negative" (it's in chapter one), particularly as employed by theists to try to immunize what they believe against intellectual attack.
So it is highly ironic that the previous reviewer should choose to play that card in defence of theism here. It appears that S J Synder has not actually read the book.
(PS excuse the self-praising stars but I had to choose something!)
Stephen Law - author
I absolutely loved this book. I wish everyone would read it. Why? Because it is well-written, entertaining, full of wisdom --really has something important to say and teach, and just the last section of the book alone is worth the price to me!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book sucked. No logic in it. All it is is communist propaganda disguised as 'new atheism'despite no evidence exists to support new atheism's world - view - namely that we... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Darth Vindex (A.V.S)
The idea and arguments were often new to me however they were repeated again and again throughout the book which sometimes made it boring to read furthermore.Published 6 months ago by kazemipouya
Amazing points are brought up throughout the book. Definitely worth purchasing if you're into philosophy in even the slightest manner. Well done, Mr. Law.Published 8 months ago by Beau Binning
This book attempts to present a number of logical fallacies, and other shady tactics, in an accessible manner. It fails to do so. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anthony B
Not bad, but I was hoping for more help in understanding political BS. Law spent a good deal of time on religious BS--which is pretty darn easy to spot on your own.Published 12 months ago by prodarwin
The book is intended to help ordinary folk like me and maybe you to understand the mechanics of influencing people to accept certain ideas and it succeeds brilliantly. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Cholla Bob