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How "God" Works: A Logical Inquiry on Faith Hardcover – January 6, 2015

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marshall Brain is best known as the founder of HowStuffWorks.com, and is the bestselling author of the How Stuff Works series (Wiley). He has appeared on Oprah, Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, CNN, Modern Marvels, and in many other media outlets to apply his signature approach to unraveling the mysteries of life. He is also the host of the National Geographic Channel's Factory Floor with Marshall Brain TV show. He lives in Cary, North Carolina.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Ethos (January 6, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454910615
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454910619
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book exemplifies the Albert Einstein adage "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." The style and content is distinct from other popular writers of the God debate such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris. I think it's more accessible, direct, succinct, and linear.

Mr. Brain boldly claims one can PROVE something is imaginary. He introduces the tools and process employed to do so ... and the foibles that derail our thinking. He provides real-world examples applying the tools. Then he employs them to lay bare with stark reality "How God Works". He closes with assessing/recommending how "waking up in the real world" impacts our ethics, meaning, and significance.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My five star rating is mostly because I want people to read this book. Brain does a good job of laying out a logical argument for doubting the existence of God based on the fact that there is no statistical evidence that prayer affects the physical world at all, according to double-blind experiments. I especially liked his chapter about how nobody ever prays for an amputee to grow a limb back. When you eliminate all chances for coincidence, and you are left with only the impossible, prayer is ineffectual every time. The worthlessness of prayer to affect changes in the physical world is really the basis for his entire argument throughout the book. He discusses the problem of evil a bit, and rails against the violent acts of God in the Old Testament, but he continually comes back to prayer. I wonder if he originally wrote the book titled as "How Prayer Works".

That said, there were several things that annoyed me. First, Brain continually defines even the most basic of words throughout the entire book - words like "absurd", "blessing", "evil", "love", "miracle", "prayer", and many more. These definitions appear indented in the text and are quoted from dictionaries or Wikipedia. A new definition appears every few pages. I'm not sure what the intention was, but it evoked two conflicting impressions for me. On the one hand it feels as if he is writing to a less educated audience, and it's almost insulting; on the other hand, I get the impression he is trying to be objective in his usage of the words, which is good, but distracting at times, breaking the flow of the text a little too much. My second complaint is that he takes too much time developing his arguments.
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By JEN on January 24, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently finished reading the excellent book "How God Works". Marshall Brain's writing kept my interest throughout the book, especially the way he explains ideas in such a clear and understandable way.

The book goes through the standard characteristics Christians believe about God and then looks at each of them using critical thinking skills. One of the most important points the book makes is that we never see any real world evidence for God or his supposed interaction with human beings. For example, what Christians consider to be evidence of favoritism by God, such as being cured of an illness, is merely a coincidence and completely explainable as a natural process that does not statistically happen to Christians any more often than it does to anyone else.

Overall, this is one of the best books I have read about God, and both believers and non-believers will enjoy this book and think about ideas they have not thought about previously. It sparked my own interest again in this topic, which I had not thought about much in a number of years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How God Works is a easy read on how to use logic and reason as to whether God really exits or is imaginary. While skeptics will sit back and enjoy, believers will have to face the facts that the things that they have believed may not be so after all.

Proving the bible was written decades after the supposed death of Jesus, the contradictions and discrepancies will open the eyes of most believers if they can step back and think. While most prayers go unanswered, these simple facts cannot go unnoticed if people would just be honest with themselves and try to break free of the shackles of religion that most people have been exposed to since childhood.

While this book does present a lot of good information, the author does occasionally repeat himself but that does not take away from the message that believers should consider.
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Format: Hardcover
Fantastic book. Everything he writes makes perfect, rational sense and illustrates the thousand of years of mental gymnastics and fearful excuses people have relied upon and passed onward re faith in a god. I want to thank Marshall for this book, and his website "God is Imaginary"--which is clear and brilliant and I wish everyone would read it.
Thank you for trying to make the world and our future a better place. Imagine all the people...living for today.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an easy book to understand and it seems that was the whole point of the author. Someone criticized it for not being about philosophical arguments for God. Never mind only a tiny percentage of people can follow those arguments and obviously those people weren't the target audience. The author does a good job of laying out why believing in the Christian God (and other gods) is irrational. In some ways I think he beats a dead horse. For example he spends about 1/3 of the book on the futility of prayer. While the "argument against prayer" is undoubtedly effective and important I think it could have been done more concisely. Otherwise this is just a really clearly argued book. It's interesting and easy to understand. Not a great book but a really good book nonetheless. Recommended.
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