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What Do You Believe? (Big Questions) Hardcover – March 21, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"The graphically bold format — which mixes photographs, cartoons, and sidebars — will keep kids' attention, whether they are seeking truth, knowledge, or more to ponder." – Publishers Weekly
"As an introduction to myriad ways people around the world choose to live and think, it's worthy reading material for any age." – Tribune Newspapers
"This slim book goes beyond the standard comparative religion format to address questions of philosophy and belief that readers, both those with and without religious identification, will find thought-provoking." – School Library Journal
About the Author
DK was founded in London in 1974 and is now the world's leading illustrated reference publisher and part of Penguin Random House, formed on July 1, 2013. DK publishes highly visual, photographic nonfiction for adults and children. DK produces content for consumers in over 87 countries and in 62 languages, with offices in Delhi, London, Melbourne, Munich, New York, and Toronto. DK's aim is to inform, enrich, and entertain readers of all ages, and everything DK publishes, whether print or digital, embodies the unique DK design approach. DK brings unrivalled clarity to a wide range of topics with a unique combination of words and pictures, put together to spectacular effect. We have a reputation for innovation in design for both print and digital products. Our adult range spans travel, including the award-winning DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, history, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery, and parenting. DK’s extensive children’s list showcases a fantastic store of information for children, toddlers, and babies. DK covers everything from animals and the human body, to homework help and craft activities, together with an impressive list of licensing titles, including the bestselling LEGO® books. DK acts as the parent company for Alpha Books, publisher of the Idiot's Guides series and Prima Games, video gaming publishers, as well as the award-winning travel publisher, Rough Guides. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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I like the way differences and similarities between the religions are shown with charts and pictures and even a couple comics. There's a section on "Hair do's and don'ts" and "Why do you wear that?". I thought these were good to have since the first way many kids encounter another religion is through distinctive hairstyles or clothes.
I highly recommend this book, especially for kids who have suddenly "discovered" religion or who have general questions.
- The book almost exclusively presents positive aspects, practices and consequences of belief systems. The history of issues and dangers of religions are not included: the negative is only superficially mentioned and sugar coated in this book, from subtle justifications of detrimental religious practices to a brief "..why is everyone fighting". If you want a child to develop a balanced and factual understanding about religion, omitting important historical facts and failing to expose the negative side is surely not the way to do it.
- The book asserts god exists. There is a chapter (What is god?) dedicated to the 'fact' that "...God is unlimited - far greater than anything humans can truly understand or describe". The contents also often presents the assumptions from each religion as 'truths', and not as what they are, assumptions.
- It presents atheism and agnosticism as 'belief systems'. Requiring evidence to justify extraordinary claims is not a 'belief system', much less a religion.
In fact, most religious individuals are atheists when it comes down to someone else's religions - except their own. This is a poor way to teach kids about intellectual honesty and critical thinking.
In summary, although this book is an illustrated overview of various religions, it presents a biased and false rosy picture of the subject for kids and adults.