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All in the Mind: A Farewell to God Paperback – 21 Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New edition edition (21 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340680644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340680643
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 1.9 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Hadley on 28 Aug 2008
Format: Hardcover
The notion explored in this often fascinating book by the famous broadcaster, Ludovic Kennedy, is that rather than the religious notion that man was created by god, rather it is god that was created by man. I must say - at the outset - that this is a view that I share and consequently I found much to agree with in Kennedy's - necessarily brief - romp through the history of human religious `thought' from early mythologies and through the history of the Christian religion in the west.

I suppose one of the few faults I find in the book is the concentration on the Christian religion at the expense of other religions, but then it is Christianity that has helped shaped western thought to a far, far, greater extent than any of the other current religions.

However, the period of the church's greatest influence was also a period of almost stagnation in the intellectual life of the west - a period which later became known as the Dark Ages. It was only when the church's power and influence was challenged, questioned and finally broken from the Reformation on through the Enlightenment and the rise of science, humanism and rationality that mankind was then able to take the great strides it has done over the following centuries.

Probably the best part of the book for me is the last third where Kennedy sketches the rise of atheism from Sozzini, d'Hobach, through Hume and Paine and on to Darwin and evolution. Then - post-Darwin - the rapid growth in atheism from that point on to the present day where religions - despite their increasingly frantic rearguard actions continue their inexorable decline into irrelevance as mankind leaves behind its superstitious childhood at last.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ludovic Kenenedy manages to combine his usual standards of clinical analysis with grace, patience and good humour in effectively deconstructing the bedrock of many people's existence. His treatment of the intolerance and savagery of Christ's followers over the centuries is counterbalanced by gentle respect for the sincerity of faith held by some believers.
If anything, Kennedy is perhaps too soft on the theists in understating the true cost of religion now borne by all of humanity. How much more we could have grown as a species had theists not used their position to justify calamitous and divisive social policies and to slaughter innocent millions on the pretext of instruction from false yet tellingly anthropomorphic gods.
By the end of the book I was reminded of a hymn dinned into me in countless childhood church services, which for me sums up the true basis of religious belief: It was called God be in my Head.
My only regret is that this admirable book is unlikely to be read by many true believers: I would make it compulsory reading for anyone pursuing or contemplating a career in religious ministry.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. Papas on 28 July 2003
Format: Paperback
Although Ludovic Kennedy doesn't say anything new, this is still a very well written and interesting book. It is mainly composed of what others have to say about atheism and God but is still very well put together. The author does describe how he became more and more disenfranchised with the church and God and this was very interesting to read about. Being an atheist myself, there was some resonance there and it was intriguing to find my own thoughts written out on the page. The only reason I gave the book 4 rather than 5 stars is because I feel it could have been more in-depth and analytical. I would still recommend this very highly to those wishing to make a start on reading about atheism.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fairly detailed investigation of the evidence for Christianity, but also serves to illustrate the same points for any religion. Kennedy was always told to believe in god and to accept the bible as truth, but nobody could satisfy his need for proper evidence that what is written in the bible is fact. The message is that there seems to be less and less need for religion, and that as more and more becomes known about the world this trend will continue. Also, while one can say that there is no proof that any god exists it is similarly impossible to prove that any god doesn't exist.
So there is a need for tolerance. If like me you have no need for any religion then you shouldn't be forced to accept any. By the same token athiests or agnostics should be completely happy to let believers continue to believe if that serves a purpose for them.
It is an interesting work, and if you ever need to get into arguments about the merits of religion it will give you plenty of information.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Oct 1999
Format: Hardcover
The fact that I agreed with the Author before I started the book meant that he didn't need to convince me of anything. For this reason I don't know if this book will actually convert any of it's readers who start out with a bit of faith.
Skeptics will love it however. It provides a good overview of the evolution of religion. It also gives details on some of the less pleasant activities which have been carried out in the name of God. All very useful if you should find yourself in a debate, And even more useful if you feel like starting one.
I felt it went down hill a bit towards the end. I don't know why but the discussion about the current and future state of religion was not nearly as interesting as it's past.
Overall well worth reading.
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