46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
A thought-provoking, disturbing book,
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This review is from: It's Not the End of the World, It's Just the End of You: The Great Extinction of the Nations (Paperback)
David Goldman is probably one of the brightest men on the planet, and this book brings news that many people are going to find disturbing and unwelcome.
His major thesis is hardly a secret: societies and people which are religious are the ones having children these days, while the liberated atheists are not. If a society is not having children, naturally, it will soon be nothing but a memory --- and not even that for long.
I should stress that this is not Goldman's crackpot theory: it is backed up by plenty of data and many different population studies. The facts have even spawned one book which was desperately worried that the U.S. was going to turn into a fundamentalist theme park.
This discovery is hardly welcome in "enlightened" circles. They had it all figured out: religion was the enemy, and once society got rid of the enemy, peace and love would break out on all sides. They were satisfied to "prove" to themselves that God did not exist, and they fancied themselves brave enough to live with the resulting ideas: that a man's individual life was a matter of pure chance, that his life was of no importance at all to the universe, and that his death would wipe him out forever. Maybe these men were brave enough to live with such a view of the universe, but apparently most men were not. The result is something never seen before in human history: prosperous, educated, "trouble-free" societies which are committing slow-motion suicide. The most obvious example is Europe, but another, surprising, example is the Muslim world, in particular Iran.
But is this all just a rehash of Goldman's other book, "How Civilizations Die"? Fortunately, not at all. Goldman takes the reader to many fascinating places: a revaluation of Tolkien and "The Lord of the Rings," Wagner, modern art, and a number of essays contrasting Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In his introduction, Goldman writes that he is really trying to convey the thought of Franz Rosenzweig and his masterpiece, "The Star of Redemption," which Goldman spent the 90's working on.
I notice another reviewer calls Goldman out for being a Jew. You could hardly read five pages in this book without "noticing" that! Goldman returned to Judaism in his late 30s, perhaps because he suddenly realized that the only two advanced countries which were replacing their populations were America and Israel, but more likely because he slowly came to realize that there was something about "enlightened" atheist thinking that just did not work for humanity. Much to the horrified surprise of enlightened policy-makers, religious faith suddenly went to the top of the agenda. They imagined that religion was part of the barbaric past.
That's about all I can say about this brilliant, thought-provoking book. It will surprise you, at the very least by its stunning revaluation of the American Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. And, as a caution: don't try jumping into "The Star of Redemption" unless you are ready for a graduate course in philosophy and theology.
Highest possible recommendation!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 29, 2011 9:05:33 AM PST
Nom de plume says:
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 10:28:15 PM PST
Nom de plume: This is hardly a comment on my review. It's just you ranting against the Jews again. I hope to God you grow out of this adolescent, simpleminded thinking. As it stands, you're just another anti-Semite and a disgrace to humanity.
Posted on Feb 6, 2012 12:28:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2012 12:29:23 PM PST
John Harllee says:
You claim and the book apparently says "the only two advanced countries which were replacing their populations were America and Israel"
But this is not so. Wikepidia gives UN, CIA, and World Bank figures for the US rate of 2.05, 2.06, and 2.05, respectively. That's not quite replacement rate. It's interesting to do a comparison with France, the quintessentially secular country. The figures for France are 1.89, 1.97, and 2.00, respectively, only slightly lower than the US.
And there are a couple of small advanced countries, e.g., New Zealand, that are somewhat above replacement rate.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 9:12:56 AM PST
Yes, and...? Did you have some sort of point to make about my review?
Posted on Mar 12, 2012 11:32:17 AM PDT
J. Davis says:
I have just finished "How Civilizations Die" and am deciding whether to purchase "It's not the End of the World..." Based on the original review here, I think I will.
From his name, I sort assumed Goldman was Jewish. However, after reading "How Civilizations Die" and its positive comments about evangelical American Protestants and Thomas Aquinas, I wasn't so sure.
I find Goldman to be very even-handed in his comments, unlike "Nom-de-Plume."
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2012 7:06:18 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2012 1:23:22 PM PDT
"Nom-de-Plume" speaks very much as a devout Muslim would speak.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 12:59:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2012 12:59:54 PM PDT
Nom-de-Ploom: At some other time, you might want to explain why Islam "borrowed" the religion of the Jews.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 1:27:25 PM PDT
I can take a stab at an explanation: Islam is based on a drug-induced perversion of both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures so that Muhammad could relate to the Jews and Chrisitans he wanted to subjugate. That didn't work so he reverted to outright deceit and conquest.
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