From Publishers Weekly
British philosopher and editor Law explores 25 of life's Big Questions in a sprightly volume designed to be a "course in thinking philosophically." Categorizing each philosophical "adventure" as Warm-up, Moderate or More Challenging, he addresses queries both grand and eternal ("Does God Exist?" and "Where Did the Universe Come From?" are two of his chapters) and controversial and contemporary ("What's Wrong with Gay Sex?" and "But is it Art?"). Lay readers looking for a comprehensible introduction to critical thinking will benefit from Law's straightforward exposition of each topic; opposing arguments are clearly organized in a tennis match of sorts: Law has two diners, for example, spar over whether eating meat can be morally justified. (Animals eat other animals, one says. But they don't know right from wrong, his companion says. Eating animals comes naturally to us, says the first. But so does violence, says the second. Etc.) In the chapter on morality's supposed dependence on religion, a section titled "An Argument for the Existence of God" is followed by the impressively accessible "Plato's Refutation of the Popular Argument," which is then countered with the "'But God is Good' Reply," and so on. The writing is lively and accessible, thanks to Law's passion for his subject and his creative use of zany conversations between future scientists about the possibility of time travel, for example, and his whimsical examples of strange objects called "fubbyloofers" to demonstrate the difficulty of determining what is art. The best of these essays end inconclusively, encouraging readers to consult the additional resources Law recommends. When Law unabashedly declares his final opinion-"In short, what creationists practice isn't good science-it's bunk"-it has the potential to offend. It detracts, too, from the book's admirable aim to "provide the skills needed to think independently" and "help fortify your courage in making a moral stand."
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"A vivid, enlightening introduction to clear thinking." --Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy
"A vivid, enlightening introduction to clear thinking." (Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials trilogy)