Customer Reviews

2
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 1999
I was a bit disapointed in this book. Expecting to see essays from the worlds greatest humanists and non believers. Instead it is more of a quote book with a few short paragraph sayings.
Although a few good quotes alot goes into 'cheap shots' of religion which i felt it should have done without.
You can probaly find better books than this.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
At the time this book was published in 1988, Roger Greeley had served as Unitarian minister at the People's Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, since 1957. He has also edited books such as The Best of Robert Ingersoll,Thomas Jefferson's Freethought Legacy, etc.

Greeley offers introductions to the selections from writers such as Clarence Darrow; Thomas Henry Huxley; Bertrand Russell; Albert Camus; Antony Flew; Julian Huxley; Robert Ingersoll; Schopenhauer; Mark Twain; Albert Ellis; Sidney Hook; Paul Kurtz; Corliss Lamont; H.L. Mencken; John Stuart Mill; George Eliot; Erich Fromm; Robert Browning; Sherwin Wine (the Humanistic Judaism founder; several selections of his are included); Epicurus; Eric Hoffer; John Dewey; Charles Darwin, etc. The selections are presented in sections labeled All About 'God'; Death and Immortality; Emotion and Aesthetics; Ethics; Happiness; Human Nature; Naturalism; Reason and Rationality; Religion; and Science and the Scientific Method.

Greeley states before the chapter on God, "Often, in looking back, Humanists are very negative in describing what remains for some an ennobling and hopeful concept. Should not Humanists be recognized by what they can affirm, by their conduct of life, and by their contribution to enlightenment here and now, rather than by the quality of their debunking?... too often Humanists have stalled out in their negative rebellion against the religion or church of their formative years. The challenge to Humanists is to be able to communicate effectively the values that stand in place of a God concept but which serve as an affirmative governor of their conduct of life." (Pg. 19)

In his introduction to the section on Immortality, Greeley says, "Historically, religion has been preoccupied with the impossible task of seeking to outwit death. The question that Humanists ask is not, 'Do we live again?'... No, Humanists ask, 'Is there authentic life before death?'" (Pg. 56) Before the section on Emotion and Aesthetics, he observes, "Humanism has yet to develop arts that are uniquely Humanist. Often we have used music from classical composers---or even hymnists---and substituted lyrics more palatable to Humanist thought. We have done this out of desperation, recognizing the void in Humanist aesthetics. The 'new wine in old bottles' approach is better than nothing, but it is far from ideal. The challenge to create a Humanist aesthetics remains." (Pg. 72)

This is a very diverse collection from a wide variety of writers; and Greeley's introductions are very pertinent. My only objection is that, although the book has a Bibliography, he does not give the specific citation (e.g., book, chapter, page number) that his quotations are taken from.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations