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The Case for God
The Case for God
by Karen Armstrong
Edition: Hardcover
172 used & new from $0.01

242 of 261 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stimulating Read, An Important Book, October 3, 2009
This review is from: The Case for God (Hardcover)
Enter the caverns of Lascaux and step back into the world of our early hunter ancestors of the Paleolithic era. We find record of a people who took life and the taking of the life they hunted very seriously and recorded on the stone walls of the caverns their rites performed to return the animals they killed for sustenance to a second life. Enter another cave where Plato paints a picture of humanity groping in darkness until some are able to step out into the light, seeing the world for the first time are faint able to make those still in the darkness of the caves comprehend their new vision. Humanity has a history, a long encounter with the sacred. It is expressed in different ways such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, and Dao among others. With all the diverse manners of approaching it humanity has a long, intimate relationship with the transcendent and it is important for anyone to understand the religious impulse in order to understand a vital element of what it means to be human. Karen Armstrong provides a thorough and compelling resource toward this kind of understanding in her book "The Case for God".

It is useful to know before reading this book that it is not a tract attempting to prove the existence of God. It is rather a case for God, not the existence of God. Amid the arguments made by New Atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, Armstrong makes the case that the religious life can be valuable and healthy. While Logos describes the objective reality that is essential for living, Religion or Mythos, helps us "to live creatively, peacefully, and even joyously with realitites for which there [are] no easy explanations and problems that we could not solve: morality, pain, grief, despair, and outrage at the injustice and cruelty of life" (318).

I recommend this book for two reasons. The first is that it gives a very thorough exposition of the history and development of religion and philosophy that is by all accounts very valuable to know. You will be more educated after reading this book and that is useful in itself. Both religious and nonreligious people can benefit from a background in the ideas, traditions, and world-views that have shaped and continued to shape the world. Armstrong also gives a summary of many of the major scientific developments of history. With my professional background in science I particularly enjoyed these passages and was impressed by her knowledge in these subjects.

The second reason I recommend this book is because she brings an interesting argument to the discussion over God and it would benefit anyone to be exposed to it. It is not necessary to agree with her positions to enjoy the book. I have always enjoyed the scientific writing of Richard Dawkins and I think "The Selfish Gene" is one of the best popular science books ever written. Dawkins also makes some important points and criticisms of religion that people of faith must confront. On the same note, atheists and agnostics ought to consider the ideas Armstrong presents in "The Case for God". Religious people should consider arguments as well. She proposes that many modern discussions of God are too careless and that the concept of God is much more complex and uncertain then is often recognized.

This book recalled to me William James' "The Varieties of Religious Experience". Both distinguished the existential judgment from the proposition of value. In other words, while the veracity of supernatural claims may be significant it may be more meaningful to evaluate the effects of a world-view on those who hold it. Armstrong contends that religion has much to offer in a world of complexity and at times suffering. Says Armstrong: "We have seen too much evil in recent years to indulge in a facile theology... A modern theology must look unflinchingly into the heart of a great darkness and be prepared, perhaps, to enter into the cloud of unknowing" (278).
Comment Comments (19) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2015 12:00 PM PDT

Citizen Men's BL8000-54L Eco-Drive Calibre 8700 Perpetual Calendar Sport Watch
Citizen Men's BL8000-54L Eco-Drive Calibre 8700 Perpetual Calendar Sport Watch
Price: $371.25
20 used & new from $345.26

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very high quality, very classy, January 26, 2008
I was looking for a watch that was both classy and rugged and this was the watch I came to select. I have been very satisfied with it. What first sold me on it was its appearance. To me the quality of the band is as important as the machinery itself. I really like the way this one looks and it is very comfortable to wear. The band and watch is stainless steel is very shiny. The clock itself is in a class of its own. I have never seen anything like it. It keeps time perfectly. It never needs to be reset and records the time of day (am/pm via the military time dial in the upper left side). It also tells the day of the week and the day of the month. It records the month internally as well as whether it's a leap year or one, two, three years after. This can be displayed in the calendar mode. It is incredible power efficient using sunlight and normal, indoor lighting as a power source. When in the dark the second hand stays vertical and motionless while keeping tract of the exact time internally while the minute and hour hands continue moving. As soon as the watch is brought back into the light the second hand moves back precisely into the correct position and starts moving regularly again. Its really cool! I get a lot of compliments on it. It really is a great deal in the $300-500 range and has the characteristics of watches that sell for thousands of dollars. So if your looking for a watch in that price range The Citizen Eco-Drive is one of the best.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2013 11:15 PM PDT

A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship
A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship
by Ron Paul
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.05
167 used & new from $0.01

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Compelling, October 4, 2007
Ron Paul may be one of the most consistent and logical statesman in Washington in United States history. He applies his theory of limited government on all levels, domestic and foreign. His basic belief is that the excessive intervention of government will often be more harmful than helpful. Oddly enough, many members of the Republican Party believe this in domestic issues yet believe in strong, long-term involvement in other countries.

Paul has years of experience and has watched the effects of United States foreign policy for years, especially in the Middle East. This is a great resource on recent history and gives insight into current events.

The Religions of the American Indians (Hermeneutics: Studies in the History of Religions)
The Religions of the American Indians (Hermeneutics: Studies in the History of Religions)
by Ake Hultkrantz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $27.19
83 used & new from $1.34

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and thorough, July 30, 2007
The history of the world is in large part a history of its religions. Hultkrantz's book is an excellent resource on the religions and history of the American indigenous peoples.

The book is divided into two parts. Part one covers the religions of the tribal cultures. Hulkrantz also does a great job in explaining all of the anthropological terms used in the descriptions. Also very interesting is the analysis of broad themes found throughout North and South America that links the beliefs of all the tribes from their origins.

Part Two covers what Hultkrantz calls "Nuclear America" or the region extending from Mexico to Peru including the religions of the high cultures or advanced civilizations of the Inca, Maya, and Aztec.

Readers of this book will finish with a very broad understanding of American Indian history, culture, and religion. A re-reading will give an in-depth knowledge of these cultures.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
by Charles C. Mann
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.84
406 used & new from $2.67

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Contribution to American History, July 9, 2007
This is a fascinating book. I read through it several times and was making notes in the margins the whole time. It covers all of the essential information for understanding Ancient American history and archeology. I keep this one nearby on my desk and refer to it often. I highly recommend this book.

The Ancient Maya, 6th Edition
The Ancient Maya, 6th Edition
by Robert J. Sharer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.94
64 used & new from $8.50

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Imformative, July 9, 2007
By far the most thorough book on the Ancient Maya I have ever seen. It covers all the history and gives a great deal of arceological information. There is also a lot of information on the religious, social, and economic life of the Maya. The book covers in great deal the history of each Mayan polity and it is very well organized. If there is anything you want to know about the Maya it will be in this book.

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