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Reality: Distinguishing Real and Imaginary States of Affairs for Recognizing Generally Accepted Falsehoods and Misconceptions Paperback – January 30, 2016
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Personally, I absolutely love this style of presentation. Every sentence is worth at least a typical popular science book's page, many of which I find, though technically interesting, meandering and repetitive. In the case of 'Reality' the logical arguments are not drowned in a sea of words, but the reader needs to pay even more attention to examine the wording which has been put in place with minute attention to detail.
Regarding the actual content, there is only one flaw I noticed:
"Any states of affairs to be requested of an omniscient, omnipotent, subject conceived of as orchestrating everything in accordance with its omniscience are states of affairs that are either going to happen whether or not the requests are made or are states of affairs that are not going to happen whether or not the requests are made."
While it is technically correct that prayer cannot change God's mind, the implication that prayer is incompatible with God's nature and necessarily does nothing is not correct. It is still a possibility that God, who foresees whether or not a subject will pray, decides that in case of a request being made, he will grant it, such that both the request and subsequent future are part of his plan. From God's point of view this is rather nonsensical, but since the human subject does not know God's will, praying can be regarded as sort of a Pascal's wager. It might facilitate the desired future. But then again, it might not, and since God's existence is disproven anyway, it is still a pointless endeavour either way, but for intellectual rigour's sake, this caveat could have been addressed, in my opinion.
Another minor criticism I have is that section one and two are entirely unrelated and lack the sort of continuum one expects from a unitary piece of work. Despite the book's density it is also still quite short and I would have loved a treatment of a wider range of related topics.
Finally, the presentation is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. Times New Roman was chosen as a font and all text is aligned to the left (Paperback version).
Altogether the few pieces of criticism are far outweighed by the exquisite writing and pristine application of rationality and logic. A terrific pleasure to read.