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Divinity of Doubt: The God Question Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 12, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press; 1 edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593156294
  • ASIN: B0062GJX40
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,360,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The question of the existence of God has captured the imaginations of pundits and pedants around the world. On one side are the theists, the believers. On the other side are the atheists, the ardent unbelievers. Bugliosi finds himself in a third category -- the agnostic, one who admits that he doesn't know if God exists, and may even insist that it isn't possible to know if there is a God. The author is a well-known attorney as well as a writer, whose best-known book, Helter Skelter, documented the horrific Charles Manson murders. He turns his attention here to a broad and often biting study of the proponents, and opponents, of Godism. He addresses some of the oldest questions in Christendom -- the problem of evil, the sometimes contradictory accounts of sacred events, etc. -- and sees no inevitability of a God in any of the answers proposed by even the best scholars. He ends his thoughts with a simple "God should only be a question." Sometimes pedantic but always eloquent, this is a fascinating read. (Apr.)

Review

“I found myself following my wife around the house reading passages of Bugliosi's book to her out loud. I wish I'd written this wonderfully funny deeply moving antidote to the false certainties -- both religious and irreligious -- that have divided our society into warring camps yammering at each other about things no one understands.”
—Frank Schaeffer New York Times bestselling author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

“Always eloquent, this is a fascinating read.”
Publishers Weekly

“Bugliosi’s arguments, while familiar, are well-reasoned, clearly presented, and provide a good introductory survey of the theist-versus-atheist-versus-agnostic debate.”
—Booklist

 


More About the Author

Vincent Bugliosi, prosecutor of Charles Manson, lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the author or co-author of many books, among them the #1 best-sellers Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, and Outrage; plus Four Days in November, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, No Island of Sanity, The Betrayal of America, Lullaby and Good Night, Shadow Of Cain, Till Death Us Do Part, Drugs in America, and The Phoenix Solution.

Customer Reviews

I had high expectations for this book.
Leonard Kirke
And there is more... An agnostic myself, I am not interested in Bugliosi's divine propaganda, and I doubt that many people will like the book.
Goran
Reading this book I got the feeling that this was a "vanity" book.
LexOrandi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Tom Murry on May 2, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having an interest in the subject matter of this book - and based on Vince Bugliosi's reputation, I bought the Kindle version of the book without downloading and reading the sample. Bad mistake. In this book, Mr Bugliosi disagrees with everyone who has an opinion different from his own - including experts in fields where he freely admits he has little or no expertise. His reason? Common sense. For example, with regard to evolution he states "...every writer I personally have read on the subject clearly has lacked, in my opinion, the ability to communicate his alleged knowledge of Darwin's theory. In other words, as is so often the case in life, these writers are markedly inept in their ability to impart to others what they claim to know." I would suggest that perhaps Mr. Bugliosi doesn't have a fundamental understanding of science that would allow him to comprehend higher concepts - or else he's dumber than a rock. I could give many other examples of his arrogance and his mocking tone of writing, but it's better for the reader to discover them.
I do applaud Mr. Bugliosi for admitting that he doesn't know if God exists; however, I do wonder why he makes that concession - he clearly thinks he knows everything else.
I would highly recommend that the prospective buyer download the sample of this book or browse through it at a local bookstore before purchasing it - or perhaps just ask a stranger on the street what he thinks about the existence of God. I expect his opinion will be just as valuable as Mr. Bugliosi's opinion (and that's ALL he states in this book) - and it will certainly cost less.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Smilez on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As he maintains in the book, Bugliosi is by nature a critical person. He finds and attacks what he precieves to be the weaknesses in atheist and theist arguments, and I really got the sense while reading the book that he's the type of person who strives to be as objective as humanly possible.

I felt that the weakest part of the book was the discussion of evolution - several times Bugliosi objects that he cannot imagine a bacteria evolving into Mozart, but of course, evolutionists believe the process happened gradually over billions of years, so to phrase the claim in such a way sets up a strawman. Bugliosi errors again by thinking "locally" about cats and dogs (why haven't they changed in the last 10,000 years, he asks?) when they have a great deal, genetically speaking! In fact, the genetic arguments for evolution are completely left undiscussed by Bugliosi.

Despite this flaw, this book is comendable for two reasons. #1, since there is very little hard evidence that points in either direction of "a god's" existence, Bugliosi's common sense objections serve him fairly well here. And #2, his willingness to take on either side of the debate and outright offend those of either viewpoint that he deems as foolish, is a breath of fresh air in a debate where there is often a lot of back slapping and "supporting your own team". Bugliosi is a truth teller (or at least he makes his best attempt to be), and that's about the highest compliment I can give someone when it comes to debate.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Eric Elliott on May 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed some of Bugliosi's other works and was looking forward to this one. Now, I am still stunned by how awful and poorly-written it was.

The majority of the book seems to be ad hominem attacks and straw-man arguments. Coupled with Bugliosi's lack of understanding about several of the subjects he brings up, it makes for a very irritating read. The only interesting thing about this book is seeing the sort of tricks a good prosecutor must use in court applied to writing. On the rare occasion when he does make a good point, he repeats it over and over again, literally dozens of times, with barely altered phrasing. If he hadn't said he doesn't use a computer and does all his writing longhand, I would have suspected him of overuse of cut-and-paste.

On of the most annoying facets of the book is that Bugliosi comes up with his own definitions for words and phrases that don't match up with reality. (Anytime you see "common sense" you can safely substitute "popular superstition".) He also claims that anyone calling themselves an Atheist "believes" there is no god... no "probably" or "reasonably certain" about it, thereby setting up one of his many straw-man arguments. He also admits near-complete ignorance about several subjects (computers, biology, evolution, etc.) and then goes on to make absolute judgements about them based on his erroneous assumptions.

I would advise anyone who is well-read and educated, whether believer or not, to avoid wasting their money on this mish-mash of Bugliosi's personal prejudices.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Sandwalker on April 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Possibly worth a read (or at least a quick scan) if interested in the topic but not worth a purchase at hardcover prices. To me this had the feel of an opportunistic book that was quickly written with an eye to tapping into the recent popularity of works critical of religion. I'm an agnostic so have no philosophical axe to grind with Bugliosi. My complaint is his lazy scholarship combined with an overbearingly obnoxious attitude to anyone who's ever expressed a pro or con opinion on the topic and doesn't happen to be him. On topics he doesn't understand he seems to think he can logic his way through - even though others more knowledgeable could enlighten him where he's confused if he'd done a little more reading before he took to writing. Like a previous reviewer I was also amazed at the "if we're descended from monkeys why are monkeys still here" argument. If a man feels justified in charging the price this book costs he should be willing to do a little more research on the topic. The answer to the monkey question (and many others) that so perplexed Bugliosi has been thoroughly answered and is not beyond the comprehension of any intelligent person provided they do their homework. This is lazy stuff. The other thing I would add is that the tone of this book is remarkably cutting and arrogant given the fact that he hardly has a scholar's knowledge on many of the topics he tries to tackle. I left this book feeling like he was a somewhat unpleasant man I really didn't want to spend any more time with. He rips into people who have a much better grasp of the topics than he does. Still, he is an intelligent man and it is at least somewhat interesting to get these well-worn arguments from a lawyer's perspective, if for no other reason than to see the limitations of his approach.
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